Damian Lillard capped his 43-point night with the decisive three-point play as the visiting Portland Trail Blazers won their sixth consecutive game, defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 126-124 on Wednesday.
Lillard, who also tied a career high with 16 assists, drove to the basket and for a layup and subsequent foul shot that gave Portland a 126-124 lead with 16 seconds left. New Orleans’ Lonzo Ball missed a 3-point attempt and Brandon Ingram missed another jumper on the final possession.
The Blazers finished a 3-0 road trip thanks in part to Gary Trent Jr. adding 23 points, Derrick Jones Jr. scoring 13, Carmelo Anthony and Robert Covington contributing 12 each and Enes Kanter putting up 11.
Zion Williamson tied a career high with 36 points for the Pelicans. Ball scored 21, JJ Redick had 16, Ingram scored 14, Willy Hernanomez had 11 points and 17 rebounds and Eric Bledsoe scored 10.
New Orleans led by 10 points at halftime but Jones had two baskets as Portland cut the margin in half less than two minutes into the third quarter.
Covington made back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Blazers an 85-84 lead.
The lead changed hands four more times before Trent’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave Portland a 94-91 edge at the end of the third quarter.
Trent made two 3-pointers to give the Blazers a 103-98 advantage before Redick’s 3-pointer gave the Pelicans a 105-103 lead.
Lillard’s 3-pointer put Portland back on top, but New Orleans regained the lead, 117-116, when Redick made a 3-pointer with 2:05 left.
The Blazers took a 123-122 lead when Lillard fed Jones for a layup with 28.7 seconds remaining.
Williamson made two free throws to put the Pelicans back on top with 26 seconds to go before Lillard made the game-winner.
Lillard scored 15 points as Portland took a 35-30 at the end of the first quarter.
The Pelicans shot 63.6 percent (14 of 22) from the field and 66.7 percent (6 of 9) from 3-point range in the second quarter. They outscored the Blazers 39-24 and led by as many as 15 points before taking a 69-59 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media