RECAP: Damian Lillard takes over late as Blazers beat Thunder

By Field Level Media
Feb 16, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (5) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard scored 31 points, including three 3-pointers in four possessions in the fourth quarter, to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a 115-104 win over the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.

The Blazers had let a 24-point third-quarter lead slip away, trailing by five when Lillard hit the first of those 3-pointers with 4:11 left to kickstart the decisive surge.

Portland scored 12 consecutive points on the trio of Lillard 3-pointers and one by Gary Trent Jr.

The Blazers hit 20 3-pointers, helping extend their winning streak to five.

After starting off hot, Lillard was just 2 of 10 from the field after the first quarter before starting Portland’s comeback. He scored 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Trent added 19 points in the win for Portland and Enes Kanter had a game-high 21 rebounds.

After cutting into that big lead late in the third, Oklahoma City kept chipping away in the fourth, holding the Blazers to 2-for-13 shooting to start the quarter, taking the lead just past the midpoint of the final 12 minutes.

Luguentz Dort led the Thunder with 23 points while Hamidou Diallo added 17 points off the bench.

The Blazers used an 11-2 run late in the second quarter to jump ahead by 22, 60-38.

Oklahoma City closed out the quarter, though, with a 12-4 run over the final three minutes-plus to cut the Portland lead to 14 at the break.

Oklahoma made its final seven field goals of the third, closing to within 14 heading into the final quarter.

Anfernee Simons hit five first-half 3-pointers to help Portland build its lead. But Simons took just two shots in the second half, missing both, and Oklahoma City attacked him on the other end. Simons fouled out with 7:31 remaining.

After playing three games without a true point guard, Oklahoma City got Theo Maledon back after missing five of his previous six games due to health and safety protocols. He scored seven points and added three assists in 28 minutes.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed his sixth game in the last eight and fourth in a row with a left knee sprain.

Blazers guard CJ McCollum, who has been out since suffering a left foot fracture on Jan. 16, was reevaluated Tuesday. He will no longer be required to wear a walking boot and will be checked again in two weeks.

–Field Level Media