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Lillard helps Portland survive Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS — Damian Lillard lay flat on his back. His Portland teammates rushed to his side and then got into a brief scrum with Pelicans players while team security sprang onto the court to prevent the dust-up from escalating.

A forceful forearm from Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins had caught the Trail Blazers' star guard just under his chin, clothesline style, as he drove toward the hoop.

"I just needed to lie down and gather myself," Lillard said. "It's going to take a lot more than that to take me out."

Lillard closed out a 33-point performance by helping Portland recover from a blown 20-point lead and emerge with a 117-112 victory over New Orleans on Friday night.

The Pelicans nearly pulled off what would have been their largest comeback this season while Anthony Davis sat out the second half with a left knee injury.

"Basically it's just a sore left knee," said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, whose team has lost nine of 11 to fall all but mathematically out of playoff contention. "There's no reason for us to take any kind of chances with him now so that's why we just held him out. I didn't think it made sense to stick him back out there."

Davis scored 19 points before checking out of the game for good with 51 seconds left in the first half. About a minute before he left, he intermittently appeared to have a slight limp and winced a couple times.

The Pelicans then lost Perkins when he was ejected for leveling Lillard.

"It was dirty for sure, but it's a physical game," Lillard said. "Some guys impact their team just by doing stuff like that. Maybe that's his way of impacting their team. I don't know, but I'm from Oakland. I've been punched before. I've been tackled before. It was a cheap play, but to me it didn't feel as bad as it might have looked."

Perkins was not available for interviews after the game, but Gentry said he thought Perkins initially intended to wrap Lillard up without taking him to the ground.

Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday each scored 30 for New Orleans.

WARRIORS 130, MAVERICKS 112: At Dallas, Stephen Curry had several dazzling plays on his way to 31 points, fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson scored 39 with 10 3s and the Golden State Warriors tuned up for a showdown in San Antonio with a win.

CAVALIERS 109, MAGIC 103: At Orlando, Fla., Kyrie Irving scored 26 points and LeBron James had 18, including a layup and pair of free throws down the stretch to help Cleveland hold off Orlando and clinch a playoff spot.

THUNDER 111, 76ERS 97: At Philadelphia, Russell Westbrook recorded his league-leading 13th triple-double with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, and Kevin Durant had 26 points and 13 boards to lead Oklahoma City to a victory over Philadelphia.

RAPTORS 105, CELTICS 91: At Toronto, Kyle Lowry scored 32 points, Luis Scola had all of his 17 in the first quarter and Toronto beat Boston.

PISTONS 115, KINGS 108: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Marcus Morris scored 20 of his 24 points in the first half, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made a couple big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift Detroit over Sacramento.

ROCKETS 116, TIMBERWOLVES 111: At Houston, James Harden had 29 points and 14 assists as Houston bounced back from an ugly loss to beat Minnesota.

SUNS 95, LAKERS 90: At Los Angeles, Brandon Knight scored 22 points, Devin Booker chipped in 21 points and seven assists and Tyson Chandler added 12 points and 17 rebounds for the Suns.