PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)Damian Lillard had 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied past the Golden State Warriors 125-122 on Wednesday night.
It was just the second triple-double of Lillard’s career, and first this season.
”I didn’t shoot the ball very well. But I think I approached the game with the same mentality, just to be aggressive, be in attack mode,” Lillard said. ”Just tried to put pressure on the defense and when they react to just make the right play.”
Jordan Poole scored 38 for the Warriors, who played without injured guard Stephen Curry. Klay Thompson added 31 points on his 33rd birthday, including seven 3-pointers.
The game was tied at 95 going into the final quarter and it was back and forth the rest of the way. After Poole’s 3-pointer got Golden State within 108-107, Andrew Wiggins scored to put the Warriors in front.
Trendon Watford’s layup for the Blazers evened the game again at 114 with 4:56 left before Jerami Grant’s three-point play gave Portland back the lead. Grant added another layup with 1:54 left to make it 119-114 while the Warriors struggled from the field.
Lillard added a pair of free throws and Golden State couldn’t catch up. Grant finished with 22 points.
Portland made 31 of 32 foul shots, while the Warriors were 9 for 10 at the line.
”When it’s 31-9 from the foul line, that’s a lot to overcome. You’ve got to make a ton of 3s, which we did, and you’ve got to win the turnover battle, which we did,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ”That’s why it’s close. But to get over the hump you’ve got to make every shot it seems like. So we got out-boarded and they beat us up at the foul line and I thought that was the difference in the game.”
The Warriors were minus Curry for the second consecutive game because of a left leg injury he sustained late in the third quarter of a victory over Dallas on Saturday. Thompson stepped up in Curry’s absence with 42 points and a season-high 12 3-pointers in Golden State’s 141-114 win over Oklahoma City on Monday night.
Blazers forward Josh Hart was in the starting lineup but suddenly left the floor during warmups and was replaced by Gary Payton II as reports surfaced that Hart was traded to the New York Knicks for Cam Reddish and a protected first-round draft pick.
”That was kind of weird. We were warming up and he just shook my hand and walked off the court,” Lillard said.
The Blazers had dropped two straight, including a 127-108 loss to Milwaukee on Monday night.
Portland led by 11 in the first half but the Warriors were up 67-63 at the break after Poole made a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Golden State went on to lead most of the third quarter before Nassir Little’s 3 gave the Blazers a 93-91 lead late.
Warriors: Golden State is 9-8 without Curry, who was previously sidelined from Dec. 16 to Jan. 7 with a shoulder injury. … Thompson grew up in Lake Oswego outside Portland and his dad, Mychal, played for the Blazers.
Trail Blazers: It was the second game of a five-game homestand. … Shortly after he was traded, Hart posted two hearts – one orange, one blue, for the Knicks’ colors – on Twitter.
Payton made a defensive difference off the bench last season for the Warriors when they won the NBA championship. Now he’s with the Blazers, lending those same skills.
”We know what he’s capable of at both ends,” Kerr said. ”Defensively he’s one of the best in the league and then offensively, he’s a great finisher and he can step out and make the 3 as well. So he’s an excellent player who helped us win a title last year. So we will always be thankful for Gary.”
Warriors: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.
Trail Blazers: Host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.
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