OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 12 of his 31 points in the final 4:11 to help the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-104 on Tuesday night.
The Trail Blazers squandered a 24-point lead in the second half. Lillard rescued them by making all four of his 3-point tries — all from at least 25 feet — during the closing run while playing with five fouls. On one, he had Thunder defensive stopper Lu Dort in his face and hit a step-back, 28-footer to give the Trail Blazers a 109-102 lead.
It was enough to make Portland coach Terry Stotts dust off 1970s movie references.
“When he made those, all I could think of was the theme from the movie ‘Shaft,’” Stotts said. “That Dame is a bad — somebody say ‘Shut your mouth!’ Can you dig it?”
Lillard also had 10 assists and seven rebounds. At one point, teammate Enes Kanter put his hands on his head in amazement.
“I went up to him and told him, ‘You crazy, man!’” Kanter said. “He’s like a cheat code. I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’ve played with some great, great players.”
Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points and Kanter had eight points and 21 rebounds for Portland, which has won five straight. Lillard is averaging 30.2 points during the streak.
Portland has been rolling despite C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic being out for the past month. McCollum has a fracture in his left foot and Nurkic has a fractured right wrist.
Dort scored 23 points and Hamidou Diallo added 17 for the Thunder. Oklahoma City guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the team’s leading scorer, missed his fourth consecutive game with a sprained left knee.
The Thunder trailed by 22 in the second quarter before finishing strong and cutting the deficit to 64-50 at the break. Anfernee Simons scored all of his 15 points in the first half for Portland.
Oklahoma City, as has been customary this season, was hard to shake. The Thunder made a run, but Portland still took a 93-79 lead into the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma City stayed hot, and Dort’s 3-pointer put the Thunder up 98-97 midway through the fourth.
“I feel like it just takes will and fight,” Diallo said. “And I feel like with this group of guys that we have here, we’re never going to give up, no matter what we’re down.”
Portland scored four points in almost eight minutes to start the final period before getting its offense going again. The Trail Blazers closed the game on an 18-2 run. Oklahoma City’s last field goal was a layup by Diallo with 5:09 remaining.
Trail Blazers: Former Thunder player Carmelo Anthony scored 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting. … Anthony was called for a technical in the second quarter. … Lillard picked up his fourth foul with 1:05 left in the first half and his fifth with 4:48 remaining in the game.
Thunder: Rookie point guard Theo Maledon returned after missing four games due to health and safety protocols. He played 28 minutes and scored seven points. … Isaiah Roby had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Kanter on one of Lillard’s deep 3s late in the game: “There is no way to guard him. And that was not a bad shot. That was a good shot, by the way. It is a bad shot for everyone else, but not for Dame.”
STAT LINES Kanter is averaging 12.6 rebounds during Portland’s win streak — an uptick from his season average of 11 per game.
Trail Blazers: Visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
Thunder: Visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.
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