NBA: Damian Lillard leads Trail Blazers past Spurs in LaMarcus Aldridge's return


Damian Lillard scored 36 points and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 110-106, on Wednesday night, spoiling LaMarcus Aldridge’s return from a health scare.

Aldridge had 19 points and seven rebounds at San Antonio, playing 32 minutes after missing two games with a minor heart arrhythmia. He was cleared Wednesday morning and does not have any playing restrictions.

Kawhi Leonard had 34 points to lead San Antonio, which fell one game behind Golden State for the league’s best record.

Trailing 104-97 with 1 minute 45 seconds remaining, San Antonio closed to within two points as Aldridge scored five consecutive points on a layup and a dunk that led to a three-point play. McCollum made a pair of free throws to end the Spurs’ streak and give Portland a 106-102 lead. Patty Mills then hit a three-pointer from the right corner, but Lillard made four straight free throws to seal the victory for the Trail Blazers.

Dallas 112, at Washington 107: Dirk Nowitzki scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks boosted their slim playoff hopes. Dallas is three games behind Denver for the final postseason spot in the Western Conference. Wizards guard John Wall had 26 points and 11 assists despite briefly leaving the game in the second quarter because of a sprained left foot.

at Miami 120, New Orleans 112: Goran Dragic played through a black eye and bloodied mouth to score 33 points, and Hassan Whiteside finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds in defeating the Pelicans. The Heat won for the 22nd time in 27 games and are 14-1 in their last 15 at home. Anthony Davis scored 27 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 19 for the Pelicans. E’Twaun Moore had 18 off the bench.

at Indiana 98, Charlotte 77: Paul George made six three-pointers and finished with 39 points as the Pacers used a 15-0 run to blow open the game in the third quarter. Jeff Teague added eight points, eight rebounds and 11 assists, Myles Turner had six points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, and Monta Ellis scored 16 points for the Pacers. Frank Kaminsky led Charlotte with 20 points.

at Boston 117, Minnesota 104: Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points to lead the Celtics to their 11th consecutive home victory over the Timberwolves and increase their lead to 1 1/2 games over the Wizards for the second seed in the East. Al Horford added 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Boston. Ricky Rubio had a season-high 23 points to lead Minnesota, which dropped to just 10-21 on the road this season.

Memphis 98, at Chicago 91: Mike Conley and Marc Gasol each scored 27 points to help the Grizzlies hand the Bulls their sixth loss in the last seven games. Memphis, which had lost five straight before winning Monday, earned its second straight win. The Bulls were without Dwyane Wade down the stretch after he injured his right elbow with 8:34 remaining. He did not return. Rajon Rondo scored 17 points to lead Chicago.

Utah 97, at Detroit 83: Gordon Hayward scored 25 points and George Hill added 17 as the Jazz won for the sixth time in their last seven games. Hayward also had eight rebounds and six assists, while Rudy Gobert had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Aron Baynes had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Detroit, which lost for the second straight night and is in danger of falling out of playoff position in the East.



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