Lillard Time One Last Time in Oakland
Damian Lillard hits game-winning 3-pointer in his last regular season game at Oracle Arena
OAKLAND – The local kid hit a heroic shot in perhaps his final hometown game.
Down two in overtime, Damian Lillard hit a game-winning three-pointer with six seconds to go against the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the arena where he grew up watching NBA basketball. Kevin Durant’s ensuing jump shot rimmed off to secure Portland’s 110-109 win.
"It was an amazing game, honestly," said Trail Blazes head coach Terry Stotts, who passed Rick Adelman for second in franchise history in wins Thursday night. "There were stretches where neither team really played that well but I liked the way we kept fighting. We have seven turnovers in the fourth quarter, three possessions to start the overtime with turnovers and still come back and find a win."
The Trail Blazers are now 20-15 overall and 7-10 on the road this season. The victory is Portland's first at Oracle Arena since defeating the Warriors 115-101 on November 23, 2013. It is also the last time the Trail Blazers will play in Oakland during the regular season with the Warriors moving to San Francisco before the start of the 2019-20 season.
"That's a hell of a way to go out," said Lillard. "We need this win, it was a big game for us, especially having to play them two times in a row. Having played such a solid game, almost gave it up. It was huge for us, for us to have to dig the way we had to dig, come up big on so many possessions after we had kind of let them back in to the game. That was a great, great win, a great way to go out of here."
Lillard scored 21 points in all, but before the decisive shot, the game belonged to Jusuf Nurkic. The 7-footer from Bosnia played perhaps his best game of the season, scoring a season-high 27 points (10-18 FG) to go with 12 rebounds and four assists.
"Nurk carried us during that stretch," said Stotts. "The way he finished on the block, he had a good matchup. It was disappointing when he drew some double teams, he made some nice passes and we got some wide open shots. We haven't done that a lot but to be able to play through him like that was a real advantage for us against their small lineup."
The Trail Blazers led by five with under a minute to play in regulation before Kevin Durant’s dunk and subsequent 3-point shot tied the game at 102-102. Damian Lillard lost the dribble in his attempt to win the game in regular time.
Portland shot just 36.2% from the field (Golden State – 42.5%) but outscored the Warriors by 15 points from the foul line. The Trail Blazers made 21 of their 23 attempts from the free throw line on the night.
Portland closed the first half with a 20-8 run to take a 52-46 lead into the locker room. The Trail Blazers committed just two turnovers and didn’t allow a single fastbreak point in the first 24 minutes.
CJ McCollum (24 points) scored better than 20 points for the 17th time this season. He scored half of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime, including Portland's first five points over the overtime.
Seth Curry scored all 11 of his points in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. He reached double figures for the fourth time this year, including two of the past three games.
"Seth came in when we needed it," said Stotts. "With that group, he made some tough shots. I'm sure playing against his brother, that meant a little something extra too. He got a little gassed, but he scored points when we needed some points."
Moe Harkless finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 31 minutes while also checking Kevin Durant for much of the contest.
Stephen Curry led all scorers with 29 points on 11-of-26 shooting from the field and 6-of-15 shooting from three. Kevin Durant finished with a triple-double of 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in 41 minutes.
• The Warriors, who entered the game as the best free throw shooting team in the league (83.0%), went just 6-for-15 from the charity stripe. The Warriors shot under 50% from the foul line for the first time since Dec 4, 2014.
• The Trail Blazers improve to 20-0 this season when leading through three quarters. Portland is 0-15 when trailing entering the fourth period.
• Portland went to overtime for the third time this season, second in the last three games (both wins – Dec. 23 vs. Dallas).
• The game marked the 311th consecutive sellout for the Warriors at Oracle Arena, a franchise record. Portland sold out an NBA-record 814 consecutive games from 1977-95.
"To be in that company, I'm very honored." -- Terry Stotts on passing Rick Adelman for second and trailing Jack Ramsay for first in franchise wins
The Trail Blazers now head home to face a familiar foe, the Golden State Warriors, for the third time this season and the second time in three days. Tipoff is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.