Damian Lillard scored 28 points as the Portland Trail Blazers held off a late surge by the host Los Angeles Clippers to win 104-96 Tuesday night at Staples Center.
CJ McCollum added 16 points and Jusuf Nurkic collected 14 points and 20 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have won three in a row and six of their past seven outings.
Lou Williams scored 20 points off the bench for the Clippers, who lost for the fourth in six games. However, Williams was only 5 of 26 from the field, missing 16 shots in a row after a 4-of-8 start.
The Clippers were short-handed, having traded forward Blake Griffin to Detroit on Monday for a package that included Avery Bradley and Tobias Harris from the Pistons. None were in uniform for the Clippers on Tuesday.
Portland saw a 20-point, third-quarter lead shrink to six points in the final three minutes, but the Blazers held on to win.
Lillard had 16 points and McCollum 10 as Portland led 56-51 at the half. Williams had 15 points for the Clippers at the break.
The Blazers opened the third quarter by outscoring the Clippers 24-9 to go ahead 80-60. Portland’s edge was 86-67 heading into the final period.
The Clippers trimmed the difference to 93-82 with 8:17 left. Danilo Gallinari’s dunk made it 100-89 with 3:43 to play. Williams scored on a drive, and Portland’s lead was 100-91 with 3:04 to go.
Williams sank three free throws to cut the Clippers’ deficit to 100-94 with 2:34 remaining. Nurkic’s rebound basket upped Portland’s lead to 102-94, and Al-Farouq Aminu’s dunk made it 104-94 with 2:00 left.
Gallinari dunked to trim the margin to 104-96 with 1:44 to go. Neither team scored the rest of the way.
Lillard scored 14 points to stake Portland to a 30-27 lead after one quarter.
The score was tied 35-35 when the Blazers went on a 7-0 run to seize a 42-35 advantage. Portland carried a five-point edge into intermission.
--Field Level Media