The Brooklyn Nets opened up their five-game road trip with a 119-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, coming back from five points down in the back half of the fourth quarter and holding off the Blazers in the final minute.
The Nets fended off Damian Lillard’s 60-point performance for Portland with some dynamic guard play of their own as Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyrie Irving combined for 67 points.
Trailing 103-98, the Nets broke out with a 17-2 run that put them up by 10 with under two minutes to go.
A Dinwiddie drive and a Joe Harris 3-pointer evened the game at 103, and Harris followed with another three to put the Nets back up, 106-103.
After Anfernee Simons scored for the Blazers, Irving turned a drive into a three-point play, Dinwiddie made 1-of-2 from the line, and Jarrett Allen dunked home a Caris LeVert dish. Irving’s 3-pointer with 1:41 to go gave Brooklyn a 115-105 lead.
Lillard scored seven straight points to bring the Blazers within three before Irving pulled up and banked in a short jumper with 17.8 seconds remaining to make it a two-possession game.
Dinwiddie finished with 34 points, five rebounds and four assists, shooting 11-for-18 overall and 6-for-10 from 3-point range. Irving had 33 points and six assists, making 4-of-8 3-pointers.
Harris had 14 points and Allen had 12 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
With center DeAndre Jordan sidelined after spraining his ankle earlier this week, rookie Nic Claxton saw his first NBA action and scored eight points with six rebounds in 12 minutes.
The Nets were up by as many as 10 points in the second quarter and led 54-49 at halftime. Lillard kept Portland in the game with 26 first-half points, with the Nets holding the rest of his teammates to 21.8 percent shooting (7-for-32).
Brooklyn closed the first quarter on a 10-2 run that consisted mostly of three Dinwiddie 3-pointers in the final 2:34 of the quarter. With a Taurean Prince three just over four minutes into the second quarter, the Nets had a 36-26 lead and had made six of their first 13 threes.
Another Dinwiddie 3-pointer, his fourth on five attempts in the first half, put Brooklyn up 54-46 before a Lillard 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds to go in the half made it a five-point game at halftime.
A Lillard three capped a 10-2 Portland run to open the second half, but Dinwiddie answered with 15 straight Brooklyn points to vault the Nets back into the lead, and his 3-pointer capped that personal surge and put Brooklyn up 71-65 with just under six minutes to go in the quarter. The Nets eventually took an 89-86 lead into the fourth.
Dinwiddie kept his drive game going in the fourth, and his one-handed scoop on a blow-by pushed him past 30 points for the game and put the Nets up by five, 96-91. Portland answered with an 8-2 run, with a Lillard drive giving him 50 for the game and vaulting the Blazers back into the lead, 99-98, with 7:31 to go.
The Blazers extended that lead to 103-98 before Dinwiddie drove for a basket and Harris knocked down a corner three in transition to tie it at 103 with 4:39 to go.