Damian Lillard pumps in 61 points to lift Portland Trail Blazers past Dallas, 134-131, to insure continued shot at playoffs
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 61 points and made nine 3-pointers, willing Portland to a 134-131 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night that moved the Trail Blazers into eighth place in the Western Conference.
The Blazers will clinch a spot in the play-in series with a win Thursday against Brooklyn.
It was Lillard’s sixth 50-point game of the season. He’s the 12th player in NBA history to score 50 points in back-to-back games after dropping 51 on the 76ers on Sunday.
He scored in every way imaginable, from well beyond the 3-point line, on blow-by drives, short jumpers and at the foul line. Lillard finished 17 of 32 from the floor and 9 of 17 from beyond the arc while making all 18 free throw attempts.
Carmelo Anthony added 26 points on 10-of 17 shooting for Portland.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 36 points and Luka Doncic had 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Mavericks, who will finish No. 7 in the West.
Spurs 123, Rockets 105
Keldon Johnson had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and San Antonio kept alive its chance of becoming the first team in NBA history to make 23 consecutive playoff appearances.
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points for San Antonio, which has won five of seven since arriving in the Florida bubble.
The Western Conference is guaranteed to have a play-in for its final playoff spot. The Spurs will need help to be one of the teams playing this weekend for that spot the final spot, but made sure they couldn’t be eliminated.
Russell Westbrook had 20 points and seven turnovers in his first game back in the lineup for Houston after missing two games with a bruised right quadriceps.
The Rockets played without guards James Harden (rest) and Eric Gordon (ankle).
Suns 130, 76ers 117
Devin Booker scored 35 points and the Suns protected their playoff hopes by beating the 76ers to remain undefeated in the NBA restart.
Booker became the Suns’ career leader with his 91st 30-point game, breaking a tie with Walter Davis.
Mikal Bridges added 24 points for the Suns, who are in the mix for the final spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
Phoenix is 7-0 as the only undefeated team in the restart.
Celtics 122, Grizzlies 107
Jayson Tatum scored 29 points, and the Celtics put the Grizzlies in further danger of missing the playoffs.
The Grizzlies missed another chance to guarantee themselves a spot in the Western Conference play-in series, instead falling out of eighth place when Portland won.
Boston (48-23), which has already locked up the Eastern Conference’s third seed, won its fourth straight.
Gordon Hayward added 19 points and five assists.
Memphis (33-39) lost for the sixth time in seven games since the restart. Ja Morant finished with 26 points and 13 assists.
Jeremiah Martin and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot each scored 24 points, leading Brooklyn to the victory.
Dzanan Musa added 17 points and Tyler Johnson had 14 for the Nets, who improved to 5-2 in the restart with their third straight victory.
With the Nets locked into the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Magic eighth, the teams went with limited rosters while getting players extra rest.
Markelle Fultz and Wes Iwundu each scored 18 points for the Magic, who have dropped five in a row after a 2-0 start at Walt Disney World.