Los Angeles Times

Lillard delivers for Portland

- Associated press

Damian Lillard hit a 37footer at the buzzer and finished with career playoffhig­h 50 points to help the Portland Trail Blazers eliminate the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games with a 118-115 win Tuesday night.

Lillard waved goodbye to the Thunder after nailing his 10th three-pointer, breaking the franchise record, then was mobbed by teammates. The crowd chanted “M-V-P!”

Portland advances to face the Denver-San Antonio winner. It was the 12th straight postseason road loss for the Thunder, who have exited in the opening round three straight years.

Russell Westbrook had 29 points on 10-for-31 shooting, 14 assists and 11 rebounds for his 10th playoff triple-double. Paul George added 36 points.

Lillard had 34 points in the first half — more than Westbrook and George combined (32) — but the Trail Blazers led just 61-60. The Thunder took control and led 105-90 with 7:45 left before the Portland began its run, sparked by three baskets by Maurice Harkless.

Lillard assisted on three scores before he hit a threepoint­er to pull the Trail Blazers within 108-103. Westbrook answered with a three, then Harkless and CJ McCollum scored 10 straight for Portland to tie it.

George gave the Thunder the lead with 39 seconds left, then Lillard’s layup quickly tied it and a Westbrook miss set the stage for the finish.

at Denver 108, San Antonio 90: Jamal Murray scored 23 points and Nikola Jokic had 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as the Nuggets moved within one win of their first playoff series triumph in a decade.

Denver can wrap up the series Thursday night in San Antonio, where the Nuggets won last weekend for the first time since 2012.

Spurs point guard Derrick White was held in check again — he had 12 points after scoring eight Saturday. He averaged 23 in the first three games, including a career-best 36 in Game 3, before Nuggets coach Mike Malone put Torrey Craig in the lineup, which allowed Gary Harris to guard White.

“Our guys realized after the first three games Derrick White was the early MVP of this series,” Malone said. “And we’ve done a really good job in the last couple of games of trying to negate his impact.”

at Philadelph­ia 120, Brooklyn 100: Joel Embiid had 23 points and 13 rebounds and the 76ers jumped out to a 20-2 lead in route to eliminatin­g the Nets in five games, and advancing to a second-round matchup with the Toronto Raptors.

at Toronto 115, Orlando 96: Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points, Pascal Siakam added 24 and the Raptors led by as many as 37 in extending their playoff win streak to a team-record four and clinching a second-round spot.

 ?? Steve Dykes Getty Images ?? DAMIAN LILLARD of the Trail Blazers hits the Game 5 winner, from deep in three-point range, over Paul George to beat the Thunder and end their series.
Steve Dykes Getty Images DAMIAN LILLARD of the Trail Blazers hits the Game 5 winner, from deep in three-point range, over Paul George to beat the Thunder and end their series.

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