RECAP: Damian Lillard drops 36 as Portland Trail Blazers dump Magic

By Field Level Media
Feb 9, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots the ball over Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony (50) during the first quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard scored 18 of his 36 points in the third quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers took charge after halftime to earn a 106-97 victory over the visiting Orlando Magic on Tuesday.

Carmelo Anthony had 23 points for Portland, moving past Oscar Robertson (26,710 points) and into 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Anthony ended the night with 26,722 career points.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 15 points and Anfernee Simons added 11 as the Trail Blazers returned home following a 3-3 road trip on which they were extremely short-handed. Robert Covington, Derrick Jones Jr. and Enes Kanter combined for 31 rebounds.

The Trail Blazers still are awaiting the return of CJ McCollum (foot) while Zach Collins (ankle) and Jusuf Nurkic (wrist) also remain out. The Magic have been without Evan Fournier (back) for the past two games and Aaron Gordon (ankle) for the past four.

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Nikola Vucevic amassed 27 points and 15 rebounds and Terrence Ross added 22 for the Magic, who dropped the opener of a four-game road trip and are 1-6 in their last seven contests. James Ennis III had 16 points for the Magic.

The Trail Blazers led 50-43 at halftime and held an 84-73 edge after three quarters. After scoring nine points in the first half, Lillard went 5 of 8 from the field and 3 of 4 from 3-point range in the third quarter.

Anthony took over the spotlight in the fourth, making a shot from the wing with 11:02 to play to pass Robertson’s career point total. Up next on the all-time list is Hakeem Olajuwon at 26,946 points. Only LeBron James has more points than Anthony among active players.

Anthony added a pair of 3-pointers over the next two minutes to give Portland a 93-79 lead with 9:06 remaining. The veteran put up 13 points in the final quarter while Lillard added nine to account for all of Portland’s scoring.

The injuries continued to mount for the Magic, who lost guard Cole Anthony with 1:01 remaining before halftime due to a right shoulder ailment. Anthony was injured when he ran into a screen set by Kanter. The rookie finished with four points in 14 minutes.

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–Field Level Media