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Damian Lillard's 33 points lead Blazers to road win over Nets in first game of second half



On the first game of the second half of the season, the Portland Trail Blazers played like a team with playoff aspirations.

Point guard Damian Lillard scored a game-high 33 points and had 10 assists to lead the Blazers to a 116-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

It was the third consecutive victory for Portland (18-24), which is ninth in the Western Conference standings. Utah (17-22), which lost to the Blazers 99-85 on Wednesday, currently occupies the eighth and final playoff spot.

Perhaps even more impressive than Lillard’s offensive statistics were his zero turnovers. He is the first Trail Blazer to record at least 30 points and 10 assists without a turnover since Rod Strickland did so on April 1, 1994. No NBA player had accomplished that feat on the road since Chris Paul on Jan. 6, 1999.

The Blazers received a combined 33 points off the bench from shooting guard Allen Crabbe and center Ed Davis. Crabbe had 19 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers. Davis had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Portland also received 13 points (on 6 of 15 shooting) and seven assists from shooting guard C.J. McCollum and 10 points from forward Al-Farouq Aminu.

The Blazers, who led 83-79 after three quarters, were down 92-86 with about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. Portland then went on a 19-2 run to seize back control and pull away for the road win.

With Portland leading 100-94, Lillard drained a deep 3-pointer from well beyond the top of the key to make it 103-94 with 4:54 to play.

The Nets (11-29) closed to within 105-99, but Crabbe kept the momentum on Portland’s side with a 3-pointer to make it 108-99 at the 2:30 mark of the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn had seven players score in double figures, including all five of its starters. Center Brook Lopez led the Nets with 25 points.

The Blazers continue their three-game eastern road trip with a game at Philadelphia on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. PT. Portland concludes the trip with a game at the Washington Wizards on Monday.