Visitors Utah Jazz were rocked by a trailblazing Damian Lillard who led Portland to a 124-107 victory over them on Saturday. Lillard scored 51 points and made 12 assists, and kept his phenomenal run going.
Making his third 50-point contribution in six games, and fourth in the season, Lillard connected on 17 of 29 field-goal tries and nailed all his eight free throws. Currently, for a six-game stretch, Lillard is averaging an impressive 48.8 points.
Record night for Lillard
Lillard made 9 of 15 3-point attempts to become the first player in NBA history to make at least six 3-pointers in six consecutive games. He has made 49 during the stretch, which also is a record for most during a six-game span. Hassan Whiteside added 17 points, 21 rebounds and three blocked shots for Portland, which won its fourth straight game and fifth in its last six.
Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points and Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley added 22 apiece but couldn't prevent Utah from losing its season-worst fourth straight game. Portland's Carmelo Anthony scored 15 points after not travelling with the team for Friday's road game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony was a close friend of Kobe Bryant — who was killed in a helicopter crash along with eight others last Sunday — and he requested not to make the trip for the contest while deeply mourning Bryant's death.
Jazz fight back
CJ McCollum added 14 points for Portland, which shot 51.1 percent from the field and 15 of 29 from 3-point range. Jordan Clarkson scored 12 points off the bench for the Jazz, who shot 42.6 percent, including 18 of 41 from behind the arc.
The Trail Blazers led by 10 at halftime before Lillard scored 16 points in the third quarter to increase his output to 39. Nassir Little drained a 3-pointer to cap a 13-0 burst to give Portland a 91-73 lead with 2:44 remaining in the quarter. However, Utah answered with a 10-3 quarter-ending dash to move within 94-83 entering the fourth quarter.
The Jazz crept within 94-88 on Mitchell's basket with 11:11 remaining before the Trail Blazers answered with a 16-4 spurt to move ahead by 18 with 6:17 left. Lillard's ninth 3-pointer gave Portland a 118-99 advantage with 3:32 left. He added a layup with 3:06 left and two free throws with 2:16 to go to move over 50. Portland scored the final 15 points — 10 by Lillard — of the second quarter to hold a 63-53 lead at the break. Lillard scored 23 points in the half.