Lillard's 36 lead Blazers past Pelicans again

Sam Forencich / National Basketball Association / Getty

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 36 points, 21 in the opening quarter alone, and the Portland Trail Blazers won the second of back-to-back games against the New Orleans Pelicans 101-93 on Thursday night.

Carmelo Anthony added 15 points for the Blazers, who also edged the Pelicans 125-124 on Tuesday night. Enes Kanter finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Zion Williamson had 26 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season for New Orleans.

Anthony's 3-pointer gave the Blazers an 86-72 lead early in the fourth quarter for their biggest advantage of the game to that point.

Lonzo Ball's floater pulled the Pelicans within 88-83 with 4:13 left. Robert Covington answered with a 3-pointer for the Blazers.

Williamson's dunk with 1:20 to go narrowed it again to 94-89 but the Pelicans couldn't catch up in the end.

On Tuesday, Portland trailed New Orleans by 17 points midway through the fourth quarter, but made up the deficit and won it on Lillard's free throws with 1.2 seconds to go. Lillard finished with a season-high 50 points and 10 assists, and was 18 for 18 from the line.

On Thursday he picked up where he left off, with 15 of the Blazers' first 20 points. He had five of his six 3-pointers in the opening quarter as Portland built a 31-23 lead.

CJ McCollum, who returned Tuesday from a fractured left foot, had back-to-back 3-pointers to put Portland up 42-33. The Blazers led 57-48 at the half.

Williamson's dunk got the Pelicans within 59-53 early in the third but Lillard's floater pushed Portland's lead to 75-62.

Portland has won six of its last eight games and completed a sweep of the three-game season series.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: Williamson averaged 32 points in the first two games against Portland. ... J.J. Reddick missed his sixth game with a sore heel.

Trail Blazers: Lillard has more than 16,000 points, joining Kevin Durant and LeBron James as the only players with as many points in their first nine NBA seasons. ... Terry Stotts is two wins away from his 500th career victory.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Visit Denver on Sunday.

Trail Blazers: Host the Dallas Mavericks for a pair of games on Friday and Sunday.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Lillard's 36 lead Blazers past Pelicans again
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