With eight minutes to go on Tuesday, the Portland Trail Blazers appeared to be in significant trouble. On the road against a quality (albeit battered) Toronto Raptors team, the Blazers were trailing by a score of 85-73 and, considering the circumstances, Portland’s chance to emerge victorious seemed slim. In fact, the Blazers still trailed by seven points with 2:30 remaining but, from there, Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony took over the proceedings.
Lillard scored eight points in the final 2:30 and Anthony joined him with five points, including a game-winner with 4.1 seconds remaining.
GAME WINNER! pic.twitter.com/STOu2UXagz
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 8, 2020
Anthony scored 10 points in the fourth quarter alone and, for the game, the future Hall of Fame forward led the Blazers with 28 points (on 10-for-17 shooting and 5-for-8 from three) and seven rebounds in 36 minutes. It was a “turn back the clock” effort from Anthony on the offensive end and, from a team perspective, Anthony posted a game-best +11, indicating the Blazers lost the 12 minutes he was on the bench by nine points.
In the midst of a playoff chase, a win like this can be huge for the Blazers, especially when pondering just how unlikely it seemed. From there, though, Lillard turned a pedestrian night into a strong one and Anthony carried the torch with a big-time explosion that ended on the highest of notes.