NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Portland
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Damian Lillard scored 16 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Portland Trail Blazers survive a tough test from the Los Angeles Lakers, 98-94, on Monday night.
Lillard shot 4-of-8 from 3-point range and added six rebounds and five assists to help Portland win for the fifth time in six games.
"He makes tough shots when you need it, he's a special player," Portland coach Terry Stotts said of Lillard.
The Trail Blazers also got 21 points from LaMarcus Aldridge and 12 points and 12 rebounds from Meyers Leonard.
With Kobe Bryant sitting out for rest, Jordan Hill stepped up with 23 points and 14 boards for the Lakers, who have won just three times in their last 11 games. Jeremy Lin chipped in 14 points, and Wayne Ellington netted 13.
"We needed Kobe down the stretch," LA's Nick Young said.
Down by seven with less than 5 1/2 minutes to go, Lillard took over the game. He hit triples on back-to-back possessions to start a 12-2 Portland run to put the Trail Blazers up for the first time since early in the third quarter.
After Aldridge's turnaround jumper with 3:32 to play, Lillard would be the only Trail Blazers to make a shot from the field the rest of the game. Lillard scored nine straight Portland points, including his layup with 36 seconds to go that put the Trail Blazers up for good.
Lin's layup with seven seconds remaining cut the Los Angeles deficit to three points, but Lillard hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to seal the win.
The Lakers led by as much as 10 in the third quarter after an 18-5 run erased Portland's 54-51 lead early in the period. Hill's jumper extended the lead to double digits, but Lillard answered with a 3 just 19 seconds later.
A possession after Ellington's jumper gave the Lakers a 73-69 lead with a minute to play in the third, Ronnie Price, who had 11 points and eight assists, was elbowed in the face trying to draw a charge and would not return to the game. Los Angeles held a 73-70 edge after three.
Neither team led by more than five in a tight opening period with three ties and six lead changes. With Bryant out, Hill tried to fill the void with eight first-quarter points.
With 4:51 to go in the quarter, Young hit a 3-pointer from just inside halfcourt to beat the shot clock, but Portland led 24-23 after 12 minutes.
A 3-pointer from Leonard started a 10-0 Portland run with 5:48 to go before halftime, and it was capped by a Nicolas Batum triple that gave the Trail Blazers a 43-36 lead. Hill scored four points in a 7-0 Lakers spurt in response that tied the game with 1:41 to go before the break.
Price's layup with 12 seconds left cut Portland's lead to 47-45 at halftime.