The Portland Trail Blazers and their superstar Damian Lillard made another spectacular comeback on Tuesday night. Despite trailing 17 points with less than six minutes left on the clock against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Blazers managed to turn the game around and come out with a spectacular 125-124 win.
Portland dug themselves a deep hole with poor defense in the first three quarters, allowing 30+ points in each period. The fourth quarter continued in the same manner, and the Pelicans were up 117-100 with 5:55 remaining in the game.
At that point, the Blazers’ defense finally started to click while the team proved critical on the offense as well. They embarked on a 16-0 run in the next three minutes and were suddenly back in the contest.
New Orleans managed to stay ahead until the final 10 seconds, with All-Star forward Brandon Ingram having an opportunity to close out the game with two free throws. Ingram, usually a safe bet from the line, surprisingly missed both and opened the door for the Blazers.
On the next possession, Lillard was fouled almost immediately and went on to sink both of his free throws to make it 123-124. Portland then got the ball back after the Pelicans’ Nickeil Alexander-Walker lost the ball on the inbound.
Lillard returned to the free-throw line after another foul and scored two more to make it 125-124. New Orleans managed to get off the last shot, but Zion Williamson failed to make it count.
Lillard was the star of the night, scoring 50 points and dishing 10 assists. Gary Trent Jr. added 22 points while no other Blazer scored more than 10.
“We needed some things to go our way,” said Lillard after the game. “B.I. misses two free throws. Then we come down back on the defensive end, and on the inbounds pass, they fumble it out of bounds. So some things had to go our way on top of us putting stops together and making timely plays on defense and offense.”