NBA: Lillard outguns Durant's 50 points as Blazers sink Warriors

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala and forward Draymond Green for a score during the second half at the Moda Center. PHOTO: USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS/AFP) - Damian Lillard scored 44 points as the Portland Trail Blazers won a 123-117 shootout with the visiting Golden State Warriors on Wednesday (Feb 14) at Moda Center.

Despite getting 50 points from Kevin Durant, the defending champions fell out of first place in the Western Conference heading into the National Basketball Association's All-Star break. The Houston Rockets (44-13) are a half-game ahead of Golden State (44-14).

C.J. McCollum added 29 points and Jusuf Nurkic contributed 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers (32-26). Portland won for the 10th time in 11 home contests.

The Warriors had beaten Portland seven straight times. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry each scored 17 points and Draymond Green collected 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Golden State, who saw the end of a three-game win streak.

Lillard had 20 points to spark Portland to a 63-51 lead at half-time. Durant had 20 for Golden State at the break. The difference was at the three-point stripe, with the Blazers seven of 18 and the Warriors only three of 15.

The Warriors cut the deficit to 74-73 on back-to-back four-point plays by Durant early in the third quarter. The Blazers took a 92-87 lead into the final period.

Portland led 99-91 with eight minutes left, but the Warriors scored eight straight points to tie it. The Blazers answered with a 10-2 run to go ahead 109-101 with 5min 3sec to play.

Durant sank consecutive three-pointers to close it to 114-111 with 2:31 to go. McCollum answered with a trey to make it 117-111. Durant scored on a drive, then sank two free throws to cut it to 117-115 with 1:29 remaining.

Neither team scored again until Portland's Evan Turner made a pair of foul shots with 18.9 seconds left for a 119-115 lead. Curry hit a pair at the line to trim it to 119-117 with 16.3 seconds on the clock.

Al-Farouq Aminu knocked down two at the line to push the Blazers' edge to 121-117 with 9.1 seconds left. Lillard iced the game with two more free throws with 7.8 ticks left.

The win saw Portland improve to 32-26, vaulting them into sixth spot in the Western Conference standings.

"I came out in a good rhythm," Lillard said. "I thought we were really resilient tonight on both ends of the floor. We got a big, much-needed win.

"We needed this going into the break, to get some momentum going into the second half of the season."

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