With Damian Lillard double-teamed and only four seconds remaining, Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday stepped up to make a clutch shot and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 101-99.
“A guy with his type of ability, it’s just a matter of opportunity,” Damian Lillard said. “He had one guy guarding him.”
Anthony scored 28 points and Lillard had 20, while Hassan Whiteside added 14 points and 16 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double.
Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY
The Trail Blazers snapped a four-game losing streak in Toronto and won for the second time in 10 meetings with the Raptors.
“This is a big confidence booster for us, a big morale boost,” Anthony said.
Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts agreed.
“I was really proud of the way our team competed tonight, particularly in the fourth quarter,” Stotts said. “At the end of the season, you look back on different games, and this could very well be a game that we look back on that turned the tide.”
The Trail Blazers had lost six of seven overall, but they have improved to a 2-12 record against opponents with winning records.
The Trail Blazers’ Anfernee Simons scored 12 points and C.J. McCollum had 10. McCollum had not played in Sunday’s loss in Miami due to an upper-respiratory infection.
The Trail Blazers trailed 78-69 through three quarters, then fell behind 85-73 with 8 minutes, 20 seconds to go, but Lillard tied it at 99 on a 35-foot three-pointer with 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter, leading to a Raptors’ timeout.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was obviously the victim of an illegal screen by Whiteside on Lillard’s deep three-pointer.
“It was clearly, clearly an offensive foul on Whiteside that wiped us out to tie the game,” Nurse said.
The Raptors’ Patrick McCaw turned the ball over with 13.6 seconds remaining, giving the Trail Blazers a chance at a winning shot.
With Lillard under wraps, McCollum took the inbounds pass and got the ball to Anthony, who connected from near the free-throw line.
Kyle Lowry got one final chance for the Raptors, but his off-balance three-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
The Trail Blazers connected on 12 of 19 attempts in the fourth, making six shots from long range.
The Raptors’ Lowry had 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The injury-ravaged Raptors lost for just the second time in 16 games against opponents with losing records.
The Raptors’ Oshae Brisett scored a career-high 12 points and Chris Boucher also had 12, including 10 straight in the fourth quarter.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet sat out due to a strained right hamstring, joining a group of injured starters that includes Norman Powell (left shoulder), Marc Gasol (left hamstring) and Pascal Siakam (groin).
Also on Tuesday, it was:
‧ Lakers 117, Knicks 87
‧ Pistons 115, Cavaliers 113
‧ Thunder 111, Nets 103
‧ Grizzlies 119, Timberwolves 112
‧ Kings 114, Suns 103
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