The Lakers had the Blazers on the ropes on Monday night, leading 73-70 after three quarters and 83-76 with 5:55 left in the game. But Damian Lillard scored 16 of his game-high 39 points in the fourth quarter — including the go-ahead layup with 36 seconds left — as Portland pulled out a 98-94 win over a Lakers team missing Kobe Bryant.
“He saved out butts again,” Chris Kaman said after the game.
With a little less than six minutes left and the Blazers trailing by seven, LaMarcus Alridge pulled Lillard aside and told him it was Lillard time, in effect:
“LA was just like, ‘We’ve got to get it going, we’ve got to take over the rest of the game,'” Lillard said, recalling the moment. “He said, ‘I’m with you, let’s do it.’ And I said, ‘I’m with you.'”
The guard out of Weber State scored 16 of Portland’s final 22 points, going 5-of-8 from the field and 3-of-5 from downtown in the final session. His fourth quarter explosion included this go-ahead bucket with under a minute remaining:
He’s turned into a beast in fourth quarters this year, and leads the NBA in points during the final session:
Lillard finished with 39 points on 12-of-21 shooting, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. But it was his ability to take over down the stretch that won it for the Blazers:
Is Lillard the most clutch player in the game today?
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