PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) Played hard by the Warriors all game, Damian Lillard needed to shake things up.
And that’s exactly what he did.
Lillard hit a 3-point with 13.7 seconds left to give the Portland Trail Blazers a relentless 108-106 victory over Golden State on Wednesday night.
“Now is the time when I have to push, I have to create the opportunity, even if it’s difficult,” said Lillard of his reflection as the clock ticked. “ Whatever happens, I have to put my foot on the accelerator a little more and try to get something moving. ”
Lillard and Carmelo Anthony each had 22 points for the Blazers, who kept him close most of the time after the Warriors quickly took the lead.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 35 points. His 3 point gave Golden State a 101-96 lead with 3:57 to go.
Lillard, smothered by the Warriors in the first three quarters, netted a 3 that tied 103-all before Draymond Green’s 3 put Golden State ahead with 1:43 to go.
Lillard made free throws to get Portland to one point, then hit a 29-footer to give the Blazers a 108-106 lead with 13.7 seconds left. He took a load from Green, which caused an unsuccessful challenge by Golden State, and Portland earned their second straight win after a four-game losing streak.
“He hit a huge shot, a deep shot,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. ” That’s what he does. He’s the kind of player he is. Even on a bad night, he can go at any time, which is why you must remain vigilant for the duration of the 48 (minutes). ”
The Warriors were without Kelly Oubre Jr. due to a sprained wrist. Oubre, averaging 15.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, was injured in training on Tuesday. Kent Bazemore made his first start of the season in place of Oubre.
All eyes were on the game between Lillard and Curry, who are among the NBA’s top scorers. Lillard entered the game third in the league with 29.6 points per game, just ahead of Curry at 29.5. Washington goalkeeper Bradley Beal tops the list at 32.9.
“He’s a great competitor and he never thinks he’s offside, and he’s always ready to step in to play, at either end,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said of Lillard. “ I think those last two plays say a lot about the type of player he is. ”
The Warriors took a 15-2 lead over Green’s layup. Portland escaped, tying the game at 26 before the end of the opening quarterback on Rodney Hood’s 3-pointers. Curry had 16 points in the period and 23 in the half.
Hood’s float gave Portland a 30-29 lead early in the second quarter, but the Blazers were unable to retire and Golden State led 56-55 at halftime.
The teams fought for the lead the rest of the way. Anfernee Simons gave Portland an 87-84 lead with a 3-point lead at the start of the last quarter. The game heated up at times, with Gary Trent Jr. and Juan Toscano-Anderson of Portland exchanging words.
Warriors: G rookie second-round draft pick Nico Mannion with G Jordan Poole arrived in Portland a day before the squad after being promoted from the G League Santa Cruz Warriors and going through their COVID-19 testing protocols to join the team, participating in the shoot on Wednesday morning. “These guys are ready to go, did you watch them?” Asked second-year goaltender Mychal Mulder earlier today.
Trail Blazers: It was the third and last meeting between the teams this season. They split the previous two, with Portland winning the first and the Warriors winning the second – fueled by Curry’s 62 points. … The game could have decisive consequences down the line in the tight Western Conference standings. Portland is 9-9 against its opponents in the West.
Kerr said he disputed the charge against Green, believing it to be a blockage.
It felt like a block to me. I thought he was sliding underneath but the refs looked at him and made the call, ” he said.
The Warriors visit the Phoenix Suns Thursday night before the All-Star break.
The Trail Blazers welcome Sacramento Thursday night.
AP Sports editor Janie McCauley contributed to this report.
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