NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Portland 31 42 24 37 134
Brooklyn 31 36 37 29 133
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CT0:00 , August 13, 2020
AdventHealth Arena, Reunion, Florida

Lillard leads Portland against Nets with playoffs on the line

According to STATS
According to STATS

Portland Trail Blazers at Brooklyn Nets

  1. The Nets beat Portland, 119-115, in the first meeting between the teams this season despite Damian Lillard going for 60 points in the defeat. The Nets have just one season series sweep of Portland since 2003, winning both meetings in the 2012-13 season.
  2. Damian Lillard's 60-point performance against Brooklyn on November 8 was just the second time a player scored 60 points against the Nets in a game after Bernard King had 60 for the Knicks on Christmas Day 1984.
  3. Portland has won four of their last five games and are 5-2 in the bubble averaging 124.9 points per game, second-most since the restart (Mavericks -- 125.4). The Blazers have hit 42.6 percent of their threes in the bubble, highest in the league since the restart.
  4. The Nets have won their last three games and could win four straight for the first time since late November. A win would give the Nets their second straight season at .500 or better after reaching that mark just twice in their previous 11 campaigns dating back to their time in New Jersey.
  5. Damian Lillard recorded his third 60-point game of the season with 61 against the Mavs on Tuesday, following a 51-point game against Philadelphia on Sunday. The last player to score at least 50 points in three straight games was Kobe Bryant (4 straight) in March 2007.
  6. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 24 points in Brooklyn's win over Orlando on Tuesday, his third game with at least 24 points in seven games in the bubble. Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 24 points or more just once in his first 210 career games (24 vs Indiana on April 10, 2017).

Damian Lillard's dominance has the Portland Trail Blazers on the verge of officially clinching a postseason berth.

While Lillard might not need to score 50 or 60 points again, a win would cement the Trail Blazers in the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Portland's final regular-season game is Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA bubble near Orlando.

"We have to come out with the same mentality," Lillard told reporters. "We control our own destiny. That's the most important game of our lives."

Portland (34-39) is competing with the Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs for the play-in series -- between seeds eight and nine -- that starts on Saturday. The Blazers are currently eighth, but remain a half-game up on Memphis and Phoenix (33-39) with San Antonio right behind at 32-38.

By the time Portland takes the floor, its competition will have completed their regular seasons. Memphis is facing Milwaukee and Phoenix is playing Dallas in games that start at 4 p.m. ET, while San Antonio tips off at 6:30 p.m. against Utah. The Blazers and Nets tip off at 9 p.m.

The Blazers are 5-2 since the resumption, and now control their own destiny in the regular-season finale. Before the five-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, Portland was 3.5 games out of the final postseason spot after 10 losses in 16 games before the pause.

Lillard is averaging a career-high 29.8 points overall. Inside the bubble, he is averaging 37 points while shooting 4854 percent (80-of-165) and 41.9 percent (36-of-86) from 3-point range.

Lillard tied a career-high by scoring 61 points Tuesday in a wild 134-131 win over Dallas, and that came after he piled up 51 in a three-point win over Philadelphia on Sunday. One of those shots was a dramatic 33-foot 3-pointer that clanked off the back of the rim, rose into the air and sank back into the net to forge a 130-130 tie with 89 seconds left.

He also had eight assists, including the pass to Hassan Whiteside for the go-ahead dunk with 59.1 seconds left.

"If we lose this game, we might not make it to the playoffs," Portland coach Terry Stotts "So, the magnitude of this game, even though it's in an empty gym and in a bubble ... this was the season was on the line.

Lillard is the 12th player in NBA history with consecutive 50-point point games. Lillard also joined Wilt Chamberlain as just the second player in NBA history with three 60-point games in the same season.

One of those games was Nov. 8, 2019, in Portland, when he scored 60 in a four-point loss to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn's starting five in that game was Kyrie Irving, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and Taurean Prince with Spencer Dinwiddie coming off the bench to score 34 points. Irving, Dinwiddie, and Prince are out and, with Brooklyn already secure the seventh seed and a meeting with the Toronto Raptors in the East playoffs, it's possible Allen (left ankle sprain), Harris (left groin contusion) and LeVert (left thigh contusion) could rest minor injuries.

The Nets are in position to rest their top three players after posting a 5-2 record during the restart, including a 129-120 win over the LA Clippers on Sunday. Brooklyn's wins also include a stunning three-point win over Milwaukee on Aug. 4 when Allen, Harris, and LeVert sat out.

With Allen, Harris, LeVert resting along with Garrett Temple, the Nets were in control most of the way Tuesday with a 108-96 win over the Orlando Magic.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot has three 20-point games in the restart and scored 24 points while playing exclusively in the first and third quarters against the Magic. Jeremiah Martin also scored 24 points with 12 coming in the fourth quarter.

"We've been having a good rhythm and playing really well on both ends of the court," Luwawu-Cabarrot said. "It's really important going to the playoffs, the first round, so we stayed together."

--Field Level Media

Updated August 12, 2020

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