76ers stay unbeaten with comeback win at Portland
The Trail Blazers did a lot of things well Saturday at Moda Center. Seemingly well enough to win. Until the end.
Facing some injury problems of their own, the Blazers built a big lead on shorthanded Philadelphia, but couldn't put the 76ers away.
And, in the end, on a night when Portland was big on 3-pointers and Philadelphia was scoring mostly in the paint, the Sixers got the winning points from 3-point distance and from an unlikely source.
Off a frontcourt inbound pass, Furkan Korkmaz sank a 3-pointer from the right side with 0.4 seconds left to turn a two-point deficit into a 129-128 victory and keep Philly (5-0) the only undefeated team in the NBA.
Damian Lillard tried to respond at the buzzer, but the Blazers' point guard was well off the target on a long 3.
Lillard scored a game-high 33 points, going 8 of 11 from beyond the arc. And it was his drive and kick to second-year guard Anfernee Simons that seemingly secured victory for the Blazers.
Simons caught Lillard's pass in the left corner and swished a 3 with 2.2 seconds remaining, giving Portland a 128-126 advantage.
The Blazers, 0-2 at home and 3-3 overall, led by 21 points midway through the third quarter.
Philadelphia chipped away and got within three points three times early in the fourth quarter and twice late in the game, before a driving dunk by center Al Horford cut the gap to 125-124 with 50.2 seconds to go.
Horford started in the middle in the absence of Joel Embiid, who was serving the first game of a two-game league suspension for his scuffle with Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns.
CJ McCollum missed a 3 on Portland's next possession, and the 76ers drew a foul under the basket with 10.1 seconds on the clock. Point guard Ben Simmons' two free throws gave the visitors a 126-125 lead.
Rodney Hood had 25 points for Portland, but exited late in the game with various bruises, he said, after colliding with Simmons.
The Blazers were hot from the field most of the night, shooting .577 overall and .559 from beyond the arc, where they made a season-high 19 shots on 34 tries.
Portland had to go to more of a flowing, open-court game because it was without center Hassan Whiteside (sore left knee). Anthony Tolliver started at center, and Mario Henzonja started at power forward, giving Portland a pair of 6-8 frontcourt players to open the game.
Horford led Philadelphia with 25 points, and power forward Tobias Harris had 23 points.
The Blazers' next outing is at Golden State at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
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