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Lillard has 32 and Blazers beat Clippers 96-88 in Game 3

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What you accept in victory, you must accept in defeat.

Perhaps the biggest burden will be carried on the shoulders of Damian Lillard and C.J. Charlotte’s Kemba Walker was second with seven first-place votes and 166 points, while Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee got four first-place votes and 99 points. If a possession yields a wide-open shot for the right guy at the right spot, the offense has performed its job. “You have to be the team that initiates it”. McCollum combined for 59 points while Chris Paul had 26 points and nine assists for the Clippers. Basketball is a silly game with silly outcomes, process be damned.

Enes Kanter had his second straight playoff career high with 28 points for the Thunder, who never trailed in two games in Dallas after the Mavericks evened the series with a one-point win in Oklahoma City following a 38-point loss in the opener.

Portland snapped a five game losing streak to the Clippers.

“I knew this game if we had come out and lost we’d have been in some real trouble”, Lillard said.

“We showed some fight”, Lillard said. Obviously the energy was up.

“It will be the good and the bad. the bad arrest, players feuding with media, internal friction, we’re not gonna hold back”, Stoudamire told Oregon Live. “That was the biggest difference”.

The silver lining for L.A.is that they had a lead in the final four minutes despite so many things going wrong at the offensive end and Lillard and McCollum having far and away their best game of the series so far. The team’s effective field goal percentage of 46 percent was nothing gaudy, but the pair of guards found their way to the line at a healthy clip. Overall, Portland shot 45 percent from the field in the regular season.

“The start he got us off to, I think it lifted everybody up”, Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. Getting in the middle. he had to be our assist guy. His name is Mason Alexander Plumlee. Golden State has provided the instruction manual for this problem over the past two season: Trap Stephen Curry and he’ll deliver the ball to Draymond Green, who will demoralize your defense as the playmaker in a 4-on-3 scheme. Portland players have been open about wanting to play the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, with forward Ed Davis saying earlier this week they were the preferred matchup. From Plumlee’s hands came a bushel of open looks for his Trail Blazer teammates.

Lillard called him a monster. And three times in the second half, he was positively Draymondian, offering a pressure valve for a trapped Lillard, then finding Moe Harkless on basket cuts.

Deadpanned Clippers Coach Doc Rivers: “Tonight we made some really interesting plays”. “I think they’re all pretty much focused”.

“With the attention that me and CJ get, we’ve got to trust him in the middle to score the ball and make the right play”, Lillard said. After missed shots, missed free throws and turnovers, the Blazers had the lead fewer than two minutes later. And he’s flourished since, recording 23 points, 31 rebounds and 16 assists over the last two games.

Kaminsky gave the Hornets a spark in the third quarter with 11 points, including two spin moves against Wade and a turnaround jumper over Joe Johnson. As he did in Game 2, Harkless served as the primary defender on Chris Paul, which allowed the Trail Blazers to both hide Lillard initially on Luc Mbah a Moute and to switch pick-and-rolls at will. Against everyone else: 24-for-44. That was bound to rear its head sooner or later for Portland. McCollum received a reprieve, as J.J.

Clippers: J.J. Redick started despite a bruised heel that kept him out of practice on Friday.

Kim Earnest

The author Kim Earnest

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