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Blazers start playoff surge

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 8:34am
Portland beats Dallas for its sixth-straight home game Staff Report Damian Lillard. Associated Press photo

PORTLAND - Damian Lillard hit his first nine shots - including seven 3-pointers - and scored 31 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers past the Dallas Mavericks 117-108 Saturday night at the Moda Center for their sixth consecutive home win.

Lillard, who didn’t miss a shot until late in the third quarter, went 10-of-15 from the floor and handed out nine assists to lead the Blazers. CJ McCollum scored 26 points, while Evan Turner had 17 points and Al-Farouq Aminu added 13.

Portland tied a season high with 18 3-pointers. Six Blazers made at least two each, led by Lillard’s seven, which many saw as a statement he should be on the Western Conference All-Star team after two years of essentially being snubbed by the conference coaches.

NBA All-Star reserves, voted by the coaches, will be announced Tuesday. Portland’s next game isn’t until Monday, and by then, many coaches will have already voted. Saturday’s performance might have been Lillard’s last All-Star statement.

Lillard didn’t see Saturday’s game as an All-Star audition, but rather, what he’s supposed to do.

“I gotta play at a certain way and perform at a certain level for us to be able to win games,” he media members after the game. “That’s why my job is. I don’t have anything else to say about it.”

Turner spoke up on Lillard’s behalf.

“He’s been playing at a high level,” Turner said. “An All-Star level. They screwed him the last two years, right? When’s the make-up call? They owe him a couple. That’s case enough.”

Former Blazer Wesley Matthews led Dallas with 23 points. Dirk Nowitzki and Dennis Smith Jr. scored 21 points each, with Nowitzki setting a season high.

Portland led by 18 points in the second half but had trouble putting away the pesky Mavericks. Dallas whittled away at Portland’s advantage during the fourth quarter, getting as close as five points with 36 seconds remaining. A dunk by the Blazers’ Ed Davis with 17 seconds left put the Mavericks away.

The win improved the Blazers' record to 25-21, and 13-10 at the Moda Center - a relief to fans as the team was once 7-10 at home and were the only potential playoff team with a losing record at home.

Portland  plays Dallas, 15-31, twice more this season, with both of the games in Dallas.


Categories: oregonsports news

Jackie keeps impressing world

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 3:43pm
Oregon native finishes third in downhill Staff report Associated Press photo

Jackie Wiles reached the podium again Saturday afternoon.

The Portland native finished third in the World Cup downhill race at Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, where teammate Lindsay Vonn won by nearly a second.

Vonn clocked 1 minute 36.48 seconds on the sun-drenched Olympia delle Tofane course for a 0.92-second advantage over Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein.

Wiles finished 0.98 behind Vonn for her second career podium result. She was on course to finish second - trailing Vonn by just 0.30 seconds at the penultimate checkpoint - but then drifted too wide on a turn and lost a big chunk of time.

Wiles placed third in a downhill last year in January as well.

The win was Vonn's record 12th win in Cortina and 79th in her career, moving her within seven of Ingemar Stenmark's record 86 World Cup victories.

At 33, Vonn became the oldest woman to win a World Cup downhill, beating the previous mark established by Elisabeth Goergl, an Austrian who was 32 when she won in 2014.

A super-G on Sunday rounds out the racing in Cortina before the circuit moves to nearby San Vigilio di Marebbe for a giant slalom on Tuesday. Then there are two more weekends of racing before the Pyeongchang Olympics begin Feb. 9.



Categories: oregonsports news