For two quarters, the Portland Trail Blazers appeared to be in danger. The visiting Orlando Magic led by eight at halftime, and were shooting 57% from three and 55% overall. The Blazers have had a rough going in third quarters of late.
Then Damian Lillard decided he’d had enough.
Lillard hit 7 of his team-record 10 threes in the third quarter, as Portland stormed ahead of the Magic en route to a 115-112 victory at home on Wednesday. Orlando fought to the last whistle, the the Blazers held them off at the end. Lillard was previously tied for the team record of nine threes with Nicolas Batum. Lillard last achieved the feat April 8, 2017 against the Utah Jazz.
Lillard scored 41 points overall as the Blazers scored a season-high 40 points in the third quarter. Jusuf Nurkic had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Nikola Vucevic scored 20 points for the Magic. Portland coach Terry Stotts picked up his 400th career win.
Here are a few takeaways from tonight’s game.
- The Dominance of Dame: Lillard was on fire for virtually the entire third quarter, scoring 23 points. Even when the rest of the team was struggling from the field, Lillard refused to let the home faithful down.
- A Starting Helping of Sauce: Nik Stauskas carried the load in the first half for the Blazers, scoring 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from three before halftime.
- Perimeter is a Pesky Problem: Orlando is the seventh team in the last eight games to shoot higher than their season average from three, shooting 47.5%. At this point, the opposing team simply getting lucky cannot be an acceptable excuse.
The Blazers host the Denver Nuggets on Friday.