Blazers falter as playoffs loom

Washington takes a 118-111 win and Portland falls to fifth
Staff Report
AP photo

Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, and the Washington Wizards snapped Portland’s six-game win streak with a 118-111 victory over Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers on Saturday night at the Moda Center.

Bradley Beal scored 37 points, helping Washington to its fourth straight win. Rui Hachimura added 17 points, and reserve Robin Lopez had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Lillard had 35 points and 12 assists, but he was 10 for 30 from the field. Enes Kanter had 19 points and 13 rebounds for Portland, and Robert Covington finished with 11 points and 11 boards.

“We were on a winning streak too but they were feeling confident,” Kanter said. “They beat three good teams before us and they were playing confident, making shots. We cannot let our offense affect our defense.”

The win moved the Wizards within 2.5 games of a playoff spot with two weeks of the season left.

Lillard was held in check in the first half, going 2 for 13 from the field. But he scored 23 points in the third quarter on 7-for-8 shooting. He was hit in the neck by an elbow from Washington’s Raul Neto, but he remained in the game after he was examined by the Blazers training staff.

Lillard’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the just in front of the mid-court logo lifted Portland to a 92-89 lead heading into the fourth.

The Trail Blazers had a 96-93 lead with 8:39 left when the Wizards grabbed control with a 10-2 spurt. Lopez sparked the run with a layup, Davis Bertans hit a key 3 and Hachimura finished the decisive stretch with a foul shot, making it 103-98 with 5:40 to go.

Bertans made another big 3 with 2:18 left, lifting Washington to a 110-101 lead.

Portland plays Monday at Phoenix, which moved to fourth in the West, one game ahead of the Blazers, with a win over Memphis Saturday.

The Blazers are one game ahead of sixth-place San Antonio, and two ahead of Denver, where the team plays Tuesday.

 

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