Lillard's monster game boosts Blazers
PORTLAND — Though it took a little longer than they'd hoped, the Trail Blazers found relief at home from their recent road woes.
Damian Lillard had 41 points and 11 assists, and Portland snapped a three-game losing streak with a 116-109 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
It was Lillard's 15th straight game with 20-plus points, the second-longest streak in the NBA behind Kevin Durant's 48. CJ McCollum added 18 points for Portland, which moved into sixth place in the Western Conference.
"Coming off three losses in a row, this was a must-have," Lillard said. "We had to have this one."
John Wall had 20 points and 11 assists for the Wizards, who have lost three straight. Ramon Sessions added 21 points off the bench, while Marcin Gortat had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Wall hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation to give Washington a 104-102 lead, but McCollum hit a pull-up jumper with 5.4 seconds to go to tie it at 104. The game went to overtime when Gerald Henderson swatted away Gortat's attempted layup.
"Gerald Henderson made a heck of a play in protecting the rim," Wall said.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts described the block as "fantastic."
Lillard hit a 3-pointer that gave the Blazers a 111-106 lead in the extra period. Wall answered with a 3 for the Wizards, but Lillard's layup with 23.5 seconds left made it 113-109 and Portland hung on for the win.
The Wizards led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, but Portland wrestled back to lead 85-81 going into the fourth.
"That was a really important win for us, especially fighting back in the second half after getting down early," Stotts said. "After losing three in a row and to gut out an overtime win, it was really important for us."
The Blazers were back home after a six-game road trip that started with three wins but ended with three losses, capped by a 123-103 loss at Detroit on Sunday.
Henderson was key off the bench for Portland, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds, as well as the monster block.
"This was huge," Lillard said. "Especially with Utah losing. It was a chance to separate ourselves a little bit more. With another tough trip coming up, this was a huge opportunity to protect our home court."
The Blazers head to Golden State on Friday. The Blazers beat the Warriors 137-105 in Portland last month behind 51 points from Lillard.
Washington was without guard Bradley Beal, who did not travel with the team to Portland because of a sprained pelvis he sustained on Saturday during a disheartening 100-99 loss to Indiana. Beal, who has struggled with injuries this season, is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 17.8 points.
The game was marred by a scuffle between Henderson and Alan Anderson with 1:23 left in the first quarter. The players got into a shoving match and had to be separated by teammates.
Upon review, Anderson was ejected for an elbow to Henderson's face. Henderson got a personal foul and both got technicals.
Anderson was averaging 9.2 points and 2.6 rebounds after missing the first 55 games of the season following left ankle surgery.
The Wizards went on a 12-point run to open the second half, going up 67-54. Portland answered with a 17-4 run to tie it at 71, capped by Lillard's 3-pointer.
Wizards: The Wizards fell at home to the Blazers 108-98 in January, the only other meeting between the teams this season. ... Gary Neal sat his 13th straight game with a sore right leg.
Trail Blazers: The Blazers had just a brief stop at home, before visiting Golden State on Friday. They'll host Orlando on Saturday before another road trip. ... Lillard had his 400th assist of the season, making him the first Trail Blazer with 400-plus assists in each of his first four seasons. He's got 402. ... It was his second game this season with at least 40 points.
The Wizards were 11 of 23 at the free throw line. They also struggled with second-chance points.
"It's a game we thought we should have won," Wall said. "But missing those free throws was a big key to the game.
Lillard has at least 1,500 points and 400 assists in each of his first four seasons, becoming just the third player to reach the milestone after LeBron James and Oscar Robertson. The only Blazer with 1,500 points in each of his first four seasons was Sidney Wicks.
Wizards: Visit Utah on Friday.
Trail Blazers: Visit Golden State on Friday.