Miami: Damian Lillard carried his team on his back on Sunday, scoring a season-high 49 points as the Portland Trail Blazers stopped the Miami Heat 115-104 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The 26-year-old point guard from Oakland, California made 12 free throws and nine three-pointers, the same number the entire Heat team did. His 49 points was just four fewer than the Miami starting lineup.
Despite playing on back-to-back nights, Lillard showed no signs of fatigue, making 14 of 21 shots from the floor.
It was Lillard’s 13th game this season with 30 or more points and his fourth with 40 or more. He started the night seventh in NBA scoring with an average of 26.5 points.
Lillard got help from Jusuf Nurkic, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds as Portland improved to 32-37 on the season.
CJ McCollum added 18 points as the Trail Blazers won their third game in a row and are now one game behind the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts said he hopes his players remain focused during their final 13 games, 10 of which are at home.
In Los Angeles, Kyrie Irving scored 46 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled over the Los Angeles Lakers 125-120 at Staples Center.
Irving connected on 15 of 21 shots the Cavaliers, who increased their lead over the Boston Celtics for first place in the Eastern Conference to 2 1/2 games.
Collated NBA results – Page 21