Blazers Use Team Effort To Blow Out Wizards In Lillard's Return

PORTLAND -- Trail Blazers starting point guard Damian Lillard returned to the lineup Wednesday night after missing six games due to injury. His teammates made sure he'd have plenty of support in his first game back.

Four Trail Blazers scored at least 22 points and the entire starting five finished in double figures in a 125-105 victory versus the Washington Wizard in front of a sellout crowd of 19,393 Wednesday night at the Moda Center.

The Trail Blazers are now 28-35 overall. 17-13 at home and have swept the season series versus the Wizards 2-0.

Portland sits in ninth-place in conference, 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the West with 19 games to play.

Lillard's goal was to pick up right where he left off before the injury, and while he looked no worse for wear Wednesday night, he didn't exactly get off to the kind of hot start that has typified his 2019-20 season. He scored just three points on 1-of-3 shooting and played nine minutes rather than the full 12 minutes he usually sees in the first quarter.

But with both Carmelo Anthony going 6-of-8 from thee field and 2-of-3 from three for 14 points, CJ McCollum going 3-of-5 for nine points and Trevor Ariza making both of his attempts from the field and two of three free throw attempts, the Trail Blazers didn't require a fast start from their All-Star guard.

“It’s an advantage for everybody when we’re hitting on all cylinders like that and everybody’s playing well," said Anthony. 'Everybody’s feeling comfortable and confident with the style and the play and it’s done in the flow of the game. I thought everybody was very confident tonight.”

After a slow start, Lillard joined the scoring barrage that was instigated by his fellow starters. The 6-3 guard went scored nine points, with three of those points coming on a "Logo Lillard" attempt, while the team as a whole shot 56 percent from the field in the second to take a 72-61 lead into the intermission.

"I thought I moved pretty well," said Lillard. "I was able to do a lot of things. I didn’t want to overdo it once I realized the kind of game we were playing. Our balance was good and we had a comfortable lead so I picked my moments to really explode and take off and cut hard and get in a stance and fight over screens, stuff like that. I didn’t feel restricted, so I felt pretty good.:

While Portland's percentage fell in the third quarter, getting production from the entire starting lineup continued unabated. McCollum and Hassan Whiteside each scored seven points and Lillard and Ariza each had six. And while none of Portland's reserves scored in the third, they, along with the starters, helped hold the Wizards to 18 points on 24 percent shooting in the quarter.

Portland's balanced offensive attack resulted in the home team going up by as many as 24 points before taking a 100-79 advantage into the fourth quarter. The Wizards managed to cull the Blazers' lead considerably by the midway point of the quarter, but after a Gary Payton II layup cut the deficit to 11, Portland went on a 13-1 run to slam the door.

"Just being aware of what’s going on, where to be, what the right play is and actually making it on time, I thought we just had that tonight," said Lillard. "I think when you do that, guys get high quality looks and they’re going to have a good chance to have a night like we did tonight. Obviously, that’s hard to do all the time and when you can do it, the game should look like it did tonight – a pretty strong win for us."


Carmelo Anthony led Portland with 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field to go with five rebounds, two steals and an assist in 31 minutes. It was the fifth time this season that's he's scored at least 25 points in a game.

CJ McCollum shot 50 percent from the field for 22 points, six rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes. Lillard also finished with 22 points and five assists whole also added two rebounds, two steals and a block in just under 32 minutes.

Hassan Whiteside put up his 48th double-double of the season with 24 points and 16 rebounds to go with four blocks and two assists. Trevor Ariza rounded out Portland's double-digit scorers with 15 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field, 2-of-4 shooting from three and 7-of-8 shooting from the line.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal led all scorers with 29 points. Davis Bertans finished with 21 points and Rui Hachimura added 11.


• Portland shot 42-of-81 (51.9%) from the field, while Washington was 40-of-103(38.8%). It was Portland’s third straight game shooting better than 50% from the floor.

• Portland had four players finish with at least 20 points for the third time this season, improving to 3-0 in those games.

• The Trail Blazers finished 28-of-32 (87.5%) from the FT line, attempting at least 30free throws for the fifth time this season.

• The Trail Blazers had 11 blocks, finishing with double-digit rejections for the eighth time this season.

• Portland outscored the Wizards on the fast break, 21-12.

• The Trail Blazers starters outscored the Washington starting five, 108-63.


"Usually I don’t play (Carmelo) the whole first quarter, but he had bounce, it was good to see." -- Terry Stotts



The Trail Blazers begin an important road-home back-to-back with a tilt versus the Suns Friday night in Phoenix. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.