Damian Lillard hit a 37-footer at the buzzer and finished with career play-off-high 50 points to help the Portland Trail Blazers eliminate the Oklahoma City Thunder from the play-offs in five games with a 118-115 victory on Tuesday night.
With the game tied, Lillard dribbled just inside of half-court near the Blazers logo and then pulled up and hit the game-winner.
Lillard waved goodbye to the Thunder bench after nailing the shot, then was promptly mobbed by his team-mates. As the Thunder left the floor, Lillard circled the court, high-fiving fans.
Scroll down for video
Damian Lillard delivered a masterclass for Portland Trail Blazers over Oklahoma City Thunder
The Trail Blazers point guard sunk an incredible 37-foot three-pointer to win the game
Supporters courtside went into a frenzy, with many of them chanting: ‘MVP! MVP!’
It was a five-star display from Lillard, who broke the franchise record with 10 three-pointers
The crowd chanted ‘MVP! MVP!’
Lillard had 10 three-pointers, breaking the franchise record.
Portland advance to the Western Conference semi-finals to face the winner of the series between the Nuggets and San Antonio. Denver won 108-90 earlier in the night to take a 3-2 lead in that series.
It was the 12th straight road play-off loss for the Thunder, who have been eliminated in the opening round for three straight seasons.
Russell Westbrook had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists for his 10th career play-off triple-double and his second of the series. Paul George added 36 points.
Fans and team-mates swamped the Trail Blazers star as he helped his team progress
The four-time NBA all-star leads celebrations in the changing rooms after beating Oklahoma
TORONTO RAPTORS 115 – 96 ORLANDO MAGIC
Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points, Pascal Siakam added 24 and the Raptors used another stifling defensive effort to beat the Magic, winning their first-round play-off series in five games.
Kyle Lowry scored 14 points as the Raptors finished off the Magic with ease, bouncing back from a Game 1 defeat to win by double-digits in three of the next four. Toronto led by as many as 37 in the clincher, their biggest-ever margin in a play-off game.
It’s the fourth straight year the Raptors have reached the second round.
Leonard made eight of 11 shots, including five of five from three-point range, as the Raptors jumped on Orlando early and never trailed. Leonard also made all six of his free throws. He checked out to cheers of ‘MVP, MVP’ with 8:05 to play and Toronto up 105-75.
D.J. Augustin scored 15 points, Terrence Ross had 12 and Aaron Gordon 11 for the Magic, who won 104-101 on Augustin’s late three-pointer in Game 1 but never again topped 96 points against Toronto’s dominant defense, and twice finished with 85 or fewer.
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS 120 – 100 BROOKLYN NETS
Joel Embiid scored 23 points and had 13 rebounds and Ben Simmons added 13 points to help the 76ers rout the Nets and close out their Eastern Conference play-off series in five games.
Up next, a second round series against the Toronto Raptors, who dropped their play-off opener before winning four straight against Orlando – the same thing the Sixers did to Brooklyn.
Any late arrivals missed the defining moments of the game from a jovial Sixers team that enjoyed toying with the sickly Nets.
Joel Embiid scored 23 points and had 13 rebounds to help the 76ers rout the Nets
The Sixers stunned the Nets with a 14-0 run in front of the loudest and rowdiest packed house of the season.
Embiid again shook off a bad left knee and had six points and five rebounds in the first two minutes to chants of ‘MVP!’ The Nets later trailed 20-2, and Simmons put an exclamation point on the stunning first quarter when he drove the paint and used a right-handed jam to make it 32-12 – with a thump of his chest for emphasis.
No starter played more than 27 minutes in a game that could have been called off after the first quarter.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 21 points for the Nets, who head into the off-season after their first play-off series since 2015.
Ben Simmons also added 13 points to help 76ers close out their play-off series in five games
DENVER NUGGETS 108 – 90 SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Jamal Murray’s 23 points led six Nuggets in double figures as Denver routed the Spurs to move within one win of their first play-off series triumph in a decade.
Up three games to two, the Nuggets can wrap up the series Thursday night in San Antonio, where they won last weekend for the first time since 2012, regaining the home-court advantage.
The Nuggets, who posted the best home record in the NBA and ended a six-year play-off drought by earning a surprising second seed in the Western Conference play-offs, finally looked like the team that rolled through the regular season led by All-Star Nikola Jokic and backed up by the best bench in the league.
Jamal Murray’s 23 points led six Nuggets in double figures as Denver routed the Spurs
Jokic had 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and Denver led by as many 30 points at 99-69, after which their starters took a seat.
Paul Millsap chipped in 14 points as the Nuggets’ most experienced player in the play-offs bounced back from a four-point performance in Game 4 that ended his streak of 16 consecutive play-off games with double digit scoring.
DeMar DeRozen and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 17 for San Antonio, but Denver dominated this one almost from the tip.
Have something to say? Leave a comment: