Damian Lillard scored 34 points Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Trail Blazers needed every one of them, as the Western Conference’s second-worst team put up a valiant effort against the conference’s second-best team. Leading 98-92 with just over a minute remaining — and unable to shake the lowly Lakers all night — Lillard held the bar near mid court, with Ronnie Price draped all over him. Well, I suppose “draped” is being generous. It was more like “attempting to guard” him. Lillard made quick work of Price and soared to the hoop, splitting two Lakers defenders on the way to a ferocious dunk that helped seal a 106-94 victory.
The win put the Blazers at 29-8 — three games behind the Warriors for first place in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Lakers dropped to 12-26, as their season from hell continues.