NBA: Lillard pours in 31 as Blazers beat Lakers

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers (right) and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game on Dec 28, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Damian Lillard scored 31 points and Gary Trent Jr. had 28, leading the visiting Portland Trail Blazers to a 115-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night (Dec 28).

Trent came off the bench to convert 10 of 14 shots, including seven of 11 from three-point range. Lillard hit half of his 10 three-point attempts.

CJ McCollum contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds for Portland. Enes Kanter collected 12 points and 14 rebounds while Jusuf Nurkic added 10 points and 12 boards.

LeBron James had 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Lakers, who were playing for the second time in as many nights. Dennis Schroder had 24 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 14 and Anthony Davis, who returned from a one-game absence caused by a calf injury, finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Montrezl Harrell's short jumper gave the Lakers a 99-98 lead with 5min 34secs remaining, but the Blazers took over down the stretch. A 15-6 run allowed them to go up 113-105 after Nurkic scored on a drive with 1:36 left.

After two free throws by James sliced the margin to six, Nurkic sank a mid-range jumper to seal the win with 20 seconds left.

The Lakers raced out to a 13-point advantage in the first quarter before the Blazers rallied in the second. Portland rode a 12-0 run to a 34-30 edge after a three-pointer by McCollum less than three minutes into the period. Portland led by as much as eight before taking a 58-54 lead into the break. The Blazers outscored the Lakers 36-24 in the second quarter.

Trent led all scorers in the first half with 16 points.

Los Angeles, who opened the third quarter on a 15-3 surge before Portland rallied, were on top 85-84 heading into the fourth quarter.

Portland played without forward Carmelo Anthony, who did not make the trip because of the NBA's health and safety protocols relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. Lakers reserve guard Alex Caruso missed the contest for the same reason.

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