Lil­lard has 44, Blazers over­come Du­rant’s 50 to beat Warriors

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

PORT­LAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lil­lard said it may have been Port­land’s best win of the sea­son.

Lil­lard had 44 points and eight as­sists, and the Trail Blazers over­came Kevin Du­rant’s 50 points to snap a se­v­engame los­ing streak to the Golden State Warriors with a 123-117 vic­tory on Wed­nes­day night.

CJ McCol­lum added 29 points for the Blazers (32-26), who go into the All-Star break six games over .500.

“Go­ing into the break, how tight the stand­ings are in the West, need­ing to come up with a big win, and we came up with it. So it’s prob­a­bly our best per­for­mance, if not the best then def­i­nitely top two or top three,” said Lil­lard, who has scored 133 points in the last three games, the high­est point to­tal for that span in fran­chise his­tory.

Lil­lard is also the first player in the league this sea­son with at least 39 points in three straight games.

Port­land spoiled Du­rant’s fifth ca­reer 50-point game and first this sea­son. He

added seven re­bounds and six as­sists, but de­spite his ef­forts Golden State had its three-game win­ning streak snapped and fell a half-game be­hind Hous­ton for the league’s best record.

The Blazers led by as many as 20 points in the first half but Stephen Curry’s 3-pointer tied it at 99 with 7:10 left.

The Warriors couldn’t get ahead and Lil­lard’s 3-pointer put Port­land up 109-101 with 5:05 to play.

Du­rant’s 3-pointer closed Golden State to 114-111 but McCol­lum got a 3 for the Blazers on the other end with 2:15 left. Du­rant’s re­verse layup and a pair of free throws cut the mar­gin to 117-115 be­fore Evan Turner’s free throws padded the lead for Port­land.

The teams traded free throws be­fore Du­rant nailed a 3-pointer — but the of­fi­cials said he stepped out of bounds. Af­ter re­view the call was con­firmed and the Warriors (44-14) couldn’t catch up.

“It was ob­vi­ously kind of a sig­na­ture win for us this year so far,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “We knew we were go­ing to have to score points to have a chance to beat them and we made a lot of good plays. Dame was ter­rific from the start.”

Du­rant said the Warriors need to have more of a sense of ur­gency.

“Teams get up to play us. They want to beat us, and they give us their best,” Du­rant said. “Some guys are go­ing to have great nights against us. They did tonight.”

Port­land had lost four of its last six, in­clud­ing a 115-96 loss to the surg­ing Utah Jazz on Sun­day night.

Blazers cen­ter Jusuf Nur­kic left that game and was listed as ques­tion­able against the Warriors with low back sore­ness, a right calf strain, and right oblique pain. But he started and fin­ished with 17 points and 13 re­bounds.

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