Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard scored three free throws with a second remaining Thursday night to complete another comeback victory in the fourth quarter this season.
Miami’s Trevor Ariza fouled Lillard while attempting a 3-pointer with the score tied 122-122, and Lillard converted at the free throw line to give the Blazers a 125-122 victory.
The victory ended a two-game streak for Portland, which began a four-game road trip against the Heat.
Lillard finished with 22 points and nine assists. But the stars of the night for Portland were CJ McCollum and Enes Kanter.
McCollum, who had trouble shooting in four of his first five games since a broken foot, was 14 of 25 and 6 of 14 3-pointers to finish with 35. Kanter had 18 points and 16 rebounds with nine offensive rebounds.
The Blazers (26-18) tied Denver (26-18) again for sixth place in the Western Conference.
It was over when
McCollum made 11 of 13 shots in the first half, going 6 of 8 on 3s, to score 29 points in 18 minutes as he led the Blazers to a 59-58 lead at halftime. The advantage was not greater because Miami made 8 of 18 3s (44.4%) and shot 52.4% overall in the first half.
The Heat continued to shoot well in the third quarter. Miami turned a 64-64 tie into a 76-70 lead before Blazers forward Robert Covington hit a 3-pointer to cut Portland’s deficit.
The Blazers worked their way to a 91-88 lead with seconds remaining in the third quarter, but then Miami’s Tyler Herro made a three on the buzzer to tie the game.
Miami got off to a better start to the fourth quarter and led 110-100 with 6:19 to play. The Blazers responded with an 11-0 run that ended with a layup from McCollum followed by a layup from Lillard that gave the Blazers a 111-110 lead with 3:48 to play.
Teams came and went from there until Kanter got huge. First, he bounced off a Carmelo Anthony missed three from the left corner and kicked the ball back to Covington up right for a three that gave Portland a 117-116 lead. Then, trailing 118-117, Kanter bounced off a McCollum error and put the ball back up and in to give the Blazers a 119-118 lead with 40.4 seconds left.
But Miami’s Bam Adebayo came back for another short throw to give the Heat back the 120-119 lead.
At the other end, McCollum drove in and found Derrick Jones Jr., who dived over Duncan Robinson, who was called for a foul. Jones scored the free throw against his former team to give Portland a 122-120 lead with 13.9 seconds left.
Once again, however, Adebayo found a way to score inside to tie the game at 122-122 with 10.8 seconds left. That led to Lillard’s final shot attempt and the game-ensuring free throws.
SHOWN AND SHOWN
Anthony came off the bench for 20 points and made 4 of 7 triples. Anfernee Simons, who had not played since McCollum returned six games ago, saw 20 minutes of action and scored nine points on 3 of 6 triples.
Herro had 29 points and eight assists for the Heat. Adebayo hit 13 of 16 shots for 29 points and had seven assists and nine rebounds.
The Heat shot 47.1% on 3s (16 of 34) and 56% overall. Of the team’s 47 field goals (84 attempts), 35 were in assists.
NEXT (Blazers schedule)
The Blazers’ four-game road trip continues Friday in Orlando (15-29).
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