Damian Lillard scored 36 points as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the visiting New Orleans Pelicans for the second time in three days, prevailing 101-93 on Thursday night.
Lillard, who had 50 points and 10 assists in a 125-124 home victory two nights earlier and 43 points and a career-high-tying 16 assists in a 126-124 victory on Feb. 17 in New Orleans, helped the Blazers complete a three-game sweep of the season series. In 2019-20, the Pelicans swept the teams’ four-game series.
Enes Kanter added 16 points and 13 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony scored 15, CJ McCollum had 11 points and Robert Covington contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds for Portland.
Zion Williamson had 26 points and 10 rebounds, Brandon Ingram scored 19 and Lonzo Ball put up 15 to lead the Pelicans.
The Blazers led by nine points at halftime, but Eric Bledsoe scored five points to help the Pelicans close within 61-55 midway through the third quarter.
Williamson scored six points as New Orleans pulled within 77-70 at the end of the third quarter.
Covington and McCollum made consecutive 3-pointers to start the fourth-quarter scoring and enable the Blazers to match their biggest lead with an 83-70 edge.
Jaxson Hayes’ layup gave the Pelicans their first points of the quarter, but Anthony answered with a 3-pointer for an 86-72 advantage.
Ball scored seven points as New Orleans got within 88-83 with 4:13 left.
Covington and Derrick Jones Jr. made 3-pointers to give Portland a 94-85 lead with two minutes left.
Ingram sank his first four shots and scored 10 points as New Orleans took a 12-8 lead before Lillard took over.
Lillard scored 21 first-quarter points, making 7 of 8 field-goal attempts and 5 of 6 from 3-point range, to guide Portland to a 31-23 lead.
McCollum scored eight points as the Blazers extended the lead to 46-33 midway through the second quarter.
Lillard ended a nearly four-minute field-goal drought with a 3-pointer as the Blazers took a 57-48 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media