Lillard leads Blazers past shorthanded Clippers
Damian Lillard scored 28 points as the Trail Blazers held off a late surge by the Los Angeles Clippers to win 104-96 Tuesday night at Staples Center.
CJ McCollum added 16 points and Jusuf Nurkic collected 14 points and 20 rebounds for the Blazers (28-22), who have won three in a row and six of their last seven outings.
Lou Williams scored 20 points off the bench for the Clippers (25-25), who lost for the fourth time in six games. But Williams was only 5 for 26 from the field, missing 16 shots in a row after a 4-for-8 start.
McCollum had a poor shooting night, too, making 5 of 19 from the field.
Lillard made up for it, sinking 6 of 13 from the field, 5 of 9 from 3-point range and 11 of 11 from the free-throw line. He also had seven assists and three steals in his 36 minutes.
Portland won the game at the 3-point line, knocking down 13 of 30 attempts to 6 of 22 for the Clippers.
The Clippers were shorthanded, having traded forward Blake Griffin to Detroit on Monday for a package that included Avery Bradley and Tobias Harris from the Pistons. None were in uniform for the Clippers on Tuesday.
Portland saw a 20-point third-quarter lead shrink to six in the final three minutes, but the Blazers held on.
Lillard scored 14 points to stake Portland to a 30-27 lead after one quarter.
The score was tied 35-35 when the Blazers went on a 7-0 run to seize a 42-35 advantage. Portland carried a five-point edge into intermission.
Lillard had 16 points and McCollum 10 as Portland led 56-51 at the half. Williams had 15 points for the Clippers at the break.
The Blazers opened the third quarter by outscoring the Clippers 24-9 to go ahead 80-60. Portland's edge was 86-67 heading into the final period.
The Clippers trimmed the difference to 93-82 with 8:17 left. Danilo Gallinari's dunk made it 100-89 with 3:43 to play. Williams scored on a drive, and Portland's lead was 100-91 with 3:04 to go.
Williams sank three free throws to cut the Clippers' deficit to 100-94 with 2:34 remaining. Nurkic's rebound basket upped Portland's lead to 102-94, and Al-Farouq Aminu's dunk made it 104-94 with 2:00 left.
Gallinari dunked to trim the margin to 104-96 with 1:44 to go. Neither team scored the rest of the way.