Damian Lillard scored 28 of his 41 points in the second half as the visiting Portland Trail Blazers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 107-103 on Tuesday night at the Smoothie King Center.
Jusuf Nurkic added 21 points and 10 rebounds, Evan Turner scored 14 and Al-Farouq Aminu had 10 points and 10 rebounds as the third-place Blazers increased their lead to 2 1/2 games over the fourth-place Oklahoma City Thunder and to 3 1/2 games over Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference playoff race.
Portland also evened the season series with New Orleans at two wins apiece.
Jrue Holiday had a triple-double for New Orleans, finishing with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Anthony Davis had team highs with 36 points and 14 rebounds, and E’Twaun Moore added 11 points and seven assists.
New Orleans pulled even at 91 on Solomon Hill’s 3-pointer, but Nurkic twice made baskets to give Portland a one-point lead. Turner pushed the lead to four by making a 3-pointer with 2:18 left.
Davis sank two free throws, but Lillard answered with a basket.
Holiday scored on a drive, but Aminu answered with a tip-in for a 105-101 Blazers lead with 26 seconds left.
Davis scored on a drive, and the Pelicans got the ball back when Holiday blocked and rebounded a shot by Pat Connaughton, but Moore missed two 3-point attempts.
Lillard made two free throws with one second left.
The Pelicans led by three points at halftime, and Moore scored five points and Davis four as they took a 63-52 lead early in the third quarter.
Nurkic scored 10 and Lillard added six as Portland got within two before Davis’ basket gave New Orleans a 75-71 lead after three quarters.
Lillard scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter. After the Pelicans tied the score at 80, he scored seven more to help the Blazers build an 89-84 lead.
Holiday scored eight first-quarter points and the Blazers made just 8 of 25 shots, including 2 of 12 3-point tries, as the Pelicans took a 24-20 lead.
Aminu scored eight points in the second quarter, but Davis matched him and New Orleans took a 49-46 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media
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