Carmelo Anthony Caught Fire In The 4th Quarter To Lead Portland To A Win Over The Sixers

The shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers looked to pick up their second win in a week over the Sixers, who hold the East’s best record. Damian Lillard was back for this game and had a big first half with 21 points, but was held in relative check with just nine (including a clutch three) in the second half.

With the Sixers threatening to pull away in the early fourth quarter, Portland turned to Carmelo Anthony to give them the lift they needed and he obliged with a 17-point fourth quarter, piling up the threes in a sensational individual performance.

However, after a hot start where he had 15 of the Blazers first 19 points of the quarter, he cooled off some and the Sixers once again closed the gap. After Lillard’s big three to take a five-point lead with 1:15 to play, the Sixers would answer with two straight scores, as Seth Curry would tie the game at 114-114 with a clutch three of his own in transition as he finally was able to get loose for a clean look.

Ben Simmons harassed Damian Lillard on Portland’s ensuing possession before taking Philly’s foul to give with five seconds on the clock, meaning the Blazers had to draw up a potential game-winning play. The ball ended up in Anthony’s hands, who earned a pair of free throws when he got tripped up and fouled at the top of the key.

Anthony made both of his free throws but the Sixers had 3.1 seconds to come up with an answer. After advancing the ball, Philly had Ben Simmons inbounding, but couldn’t get any of their first options free and Simmons came late to Harris curling off an Embiid screen at the foul line. Robert Covington recognized where Simmons was going and left Embiid to jump the pass, sealing the game with the steal and tipping it to Lillard who sank two free throws to ice it.

It is a season series sweep for the Blazers in the most improbable of fashion, as they beat the East’s best team twice while shorthanded, withstanding big nights from Joel Embiid each time (35 points on Thursday) to get a pair of big victories in their quest to stay afloat in the West playoff race.

For Philly, it’s another head-scratching loss to Portland and they still have some things to figure out with execution late in close games on offense. Still the story of the night will be the Melo eruption in the fourth quarter, as he turned back the clock and put on a show that helped lift the Blazers to a win.