Lillard scores 36 as Trail Blazers beat Magic 118-103

NBA Basketball
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)Damian Lillard scored 36 points, CJ McCollum had 31 and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Orlando Magic 118-103 on Friday night.

Portland earned its season-high third straight win despite losing Carmelo Anthony to a bruised left knee in the second quarter. The Trail Blazers improved to 8-7 since Anthony joined the team a month ago.

Hassan Whiteside added 10 points and 17 rebounds for Portland in his 13th straight double-double.

Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Portland’s backcourt took over in the third quarter. Lillard had 16 points and three assists in the period, helping the Blazers build a 93-75 lead. McCollum scored 10 points in the quarter.

D.J. Augustin scored 17 points for Orlando, and Evan Fournier had 16. Aaron Gordon grabbed 11 rebounds in the Magic’s sixth loss in seven games.

Orlando was hurt by a slow start. Portland put together a 14-0 run and led 31-13 after the first quarter.

The long scoring drought prompted Vucevic to throw a towel down in frustration after being subbed out.

The Magic got back into the game with a 16-2 run. They trailed 57-44 at halftime.

Orlando played without Michael Carter-Williams in the second half after he departed with a left shoulder injury. The Magic closed out a 1-3 road trip.

TIP-INS

Magic: One of the biggest surprises of the NBA season has been the play of Markelle Fultz, who was selected by Philadelphia with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft. Fultz struggled at the start of his career with the 76ers, but he has worked his into the starting lineup for the Magic. ”He has an ability to set a tone on both ends of the floor on every possession,” coach Steve Clifford said. ”And I think that’s what the best point guards do. He’s in the paint, which was one of our big weaknesses last year. When he’s on the floor we’re much more inside out and we score off of his penetration.” Fultz had 10 points and four assists in the loss.

Trail Blazers: Former Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who is rehabbing his way back from a torn meniscus, got a loud ovation when he was shown on the big screen during the fourth quarter. Aminu signed with Orlando in free agency. ”He was probably our best post defender,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. ”He guarded perimeter guys, he guarded centers. He was an exceptional player in his role for us in that, especially defensively but also offensively he developed into a very important 3-point shooter for us.”

UP NEXT

Magic: Monday vs. Chicago Bulls.

Trail Blazers: Saturday vs. Minnesota Timberwolves.

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