NBA

Lillard scores season-high 50 as Trail Blazers snatch victory, LeBron has 99th career triple-double

By Sports Desk March 17, 2021

Damian Lillard scored a season-high 50 points, including 20 in the last quarter, as the Portland Trail Blazers produced a remarkable comeback to snatch a last-gasp 125-124 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

The Pelicans led by 17 points late in the third term and Brandon Ingram had the chance to ice the game late on, before missing two free-throws as Portland snatched victory.

Lillard was the catalyst with his 20 final-quarter points, totalling 50 for the game, along with 10 assists and six rebounds. He also finished with six three-pointers and 18 of 18 free-throws.

He coolly scored two free-throws after Nickeil Alexander-Walker's costly fumble turned over possession. Zion Williamson had one last chance to steal victory but missed from a good close look.

The result improved Portland's record to 23-16 as they stay firmly in playoff contention while the Pelicans slipped to 17-23, despite Lonzo Ball's career-high 17 assists.

Lillard is now tied with LeBron James in seventh for all-time most 50-point NBA games.

Meanwhile, James had the 99th triple-double of his career with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, while Montrezl Harrell was equal top scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers in a 137-121 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Smooth Jazz back among winners

Rudy Gobert scored 11 of his 16 points in the final period as the Utah Jazz bounced back from their loss to the Golden State Warriors with a 117-109 win over the Boston Celtics.

Gobert, who also had 12 rebounds, was well supported by Donovan Mitchell (21 points and five assists) and impressive sixth man Jordan Clarkson (20 points and three assists) as the Jazz stormed home to edge past Boston.

Without Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris stepped up for the Philadelphia 76ers with 30 points in a thrilling 99-96 triumph over the New York Knicks.

Ben Simmons had 16 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the 76ers, who trailed by nine at the final change before a dominant fourth quarter.

Jimmy Butler starred with 28 points, 12 rebounds and four assists as the in-form Miami Heat made it five wins in a row with a 113-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Miami center Bam Adebayo also returned from injury with 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Nate McMillan is yet to lose as head coach at the resurgent Atlanta Hawks, who claimed their sixth consecutive win, beating the Houston Rockets 119-107, led by Danilo Gallinari with 29 points.

 

No lift-off as Rockets grounded

While Atlanta have turned their season around with a coaching change, Houston have now lost 17 in a row. Stephen Silas is left scratching his head, with his side going from 11-10 to 11-27.

 

Big blocks

There were some huge blocks on Tuesday but 76ers veteran Dwight Howard stole the show early in the fourth, putting Julius Randle on the floor with an emphatic swat.

 

Tuesday's results

Utah Jazz 117-109 Boston Celtics
Miami Heat 113-98 Cleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls 123-102 Oklahoma City Thunder
Atlanta Hawks 119-107 Houston Rockets
Philadelphia 76ers 99-96 New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers 125-124 New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers 137-121 Minnesota Timberwolves

 

Bucks at 76ers

The 76ers, without the injured Embiid, take on Giannis Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks in a blockbuster clash on Wednesday.

Related items

  • Horizon, Storm score wins as P.H.A.S.E 1 Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball League gets underway in Kingston Horizon, Storm score wins as P.H.A.S.E 1 Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball League gets underway in Kingston

    It was a packed house at the National Arena in Kingston for the start of the P.H.A.S.E 1 Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball League on Saturday.

    The day started with the Elite 1 Horizon recording a blowout 110-64 victory over Elite 1 Rivers thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from guard Bobby Gray, who dominated with 23 points and eight assists.

    The game was close after the first quarter with the Horizon holding a 20-19 lead before they stretched the lead to 18 at the half, leading 49-31. Things got uglier after three quarters with the Horizon swelling the lead to 25, leading 84-49, before completing a dominant victory.

    The second game saw Elite 1 Storm complete a 79-64 victory over Elite 1 Waves.

    In a much closer encounter, the two teams battled throughout the first three quarters and were only separated by two points by the time the fourth quarter came around, with the Storm holding a 53-51 lead.

    That fourth quarter, however, saw the Storm play very smart basketball to come away with the victory.

    Guard Joel Bailey was voted man-of-the-match thanks to his 17 points, five rebounds and three steals. Teammate Drelan Tripplett also chipped in with 18 points and six assists.

    The action continues Sunday when Elite 1 Horizon battle Elite 1 Waves in the first game and Elite 1 Storm face Elite 1 Rivers in the second.

  • Rennie lays into Australia after Pumas hammering Rennie lays into Australia after Pumas hammering

    Dave Rennie pulled no punches as he labelled Australia's 48-17 Rugby Championship hammering at the hands of Argentina as a "massive disappointment" and "not good enough".

    The depleted Wallabies were without a host of players including fly-half Quade Cooper, who damaged his Achilles in the opening-round win over the Pumas last weekend.

    Even accounting for the absentees, Australia were still pre-match favourites but were completely outclassed in San Juan as Argentina ran in seven tries.

    It represented the Pumas' biggest ever win over Australia and moved them top of the standings after two games.

    Speaking to Stan Sports after the game, New Zealander Rennie made no excuses for his side's poor performance.

    "Massive disappointment. That's not good enough," Rennie said.

    "We would [like to have a consistent team list] but we had a good enough side to do the job

    "We gave them a few soft points early on and fought our way back into it. We have to do better and we'll get a few players back. Whoever puts the jersey on has to front up but we weren't good enough.

    "We conceded four tries with kicks in between us and got dominated in the collision area. We created plenty of opportunities but we have to be patient and our rucks not a disaster.

    "We just weren't clinical enough. We definitely lacked cohesion with a few changes. We'll look at the footage but we're better than that."

    Australia will look to rebound when they host South Africa in Adelaide on August 27.

  • Tuchel backs Gallagher and Hudson-Odoi to fight for minutes at Chelsea Tuchel backs Gallagher and Hudson-Odoi to fight for minutes at Chelsea

    Thomas Tuchel has backed Conor Gallagher and Callum Hudson-Odoi to fight their way into first-team contention at Chelsea. 

    However, the Blues boss was philosophical when asked whether either England international could leave in the transfer window, adding: "Nobody is for sale, and everybody is for sale."

    Gallagher appeared as a late substitute in Chelsea's opening-day Premier League win over Everton last week, while Hudson-Odoi was absent from the Blues' squad at Goodison Park.

    Both players have been linked with moves away due to the competition for places at Stamford Bridge, with Hudson-Odoi a reported target for Borussia Dortmund and Gallagher widely admired after racking up eight Premier League goals and three assists on loan at Crystal Palace last term.

    While Tuchel recognises N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic represent stern competition for Gallagher, he wants to see him realise his undoubted promise at Chelsea.

    "Conor fights in central midfield," Tuchel said ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with Tottenham. "To be honest, it is a very tough fight for him because, at the moment, it seems we only have two places in central midfield. 

    "Given the amount of players we have for central midfield, it isn't ideal, I agree. But we have to do what's best for the squad, not just for each individual player.

    "But at the moment, he is absolutely fine. I am a huge fan of Conor. He is a fantastic guy, and this is what we already knew, in the first weeks of training, he has shown how much of a step he has made through having so much playing time.

    "It is a very, very normal situation and his development is that at the moment, after some fantastic training sessions in the beginning, there is a little dip in his form and freshness. 

    "On top of that, there's a huge competition with N'Golo, Jorgi and Kova, who are used to playing with each other. 

    "This is also life in a big club like Chelsea, so everything is in its right place. We are happy with him. He keeps on fighting, and this is what he does. I think he has everything to become very important in the next years at Chelsea."

    Hudson-Odoi has been linked with a move to the Bundesliga on several occasions, having only started 32 Premier League games for Chelsea since his 2018 debut, but Tuchel is also keen to hold onto him.

    "Callum is the same. He had a long-term injury and long-term problems to overcome," Tuchel said. "I think he still has a way to go to live up to his potential. His potential is huge. 

    "I think having Raheem [Sterling] in can give him an extra boost to step up and see what's needed in these kinds of positions to reach the levels he can honestly reach. 

    "But at the moment, he is our player, and he needs to fight, fight, fight. I have nothing more to say."

    But with over two weeks remaining in the transfer window, Tuchel refused to rule out a change in the club's strategy.

    "In general, nobody is for sale,", Tuchel added. "Nobody is for sale, and everybody is for sale. 

    "It depends on what the player wants, how bad the player wants it, what we think about who is ready to pay a certain amount of money, and then maybe everybody is for sale."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.