Damian Lillard scored 22 of his season-high 50 points in the third quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Sacramento Kings 118-100 on Friday night.
Lillard scored at will, making 16 of 26 shots — including eight 3-pointers — and all 10 of his free-throw attempts. He reached the half-century mark by the end of the third period and sat the entire fourth.
Lillard, who also had six assists, joined teammate CJ McCollum and Houston’s James Harden as the only players to score 50 points through three quarters this season.
Maurice Harkless added 15 points, McCollum scored 13 and Ed Davis had five points and 14 rebounds for Portland, which made 15 3-pointers. The Blazers were coming off an overtime win in Charlotte on Thursday that snapped a three-game losing streak.
Lillard, Portland’s lone All-Star this season, scored 15 points during a 17-0 run that closed out the third quarter and put the Blazers up 92-74. He made two threes during the run and silenced the crowd when he drove the left side of the lane and flipped the ball in with his right hand.
Sacramento made five consecutive threes in the fourth quarter, four by Buddy Hield, and pulled within 107-94 with 4:45 left. Shabazz Napier made a 3-pointer for Portland to stop the Kings’ surge.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 19 points and six rebounds, and Zach Randolph added 17 points and nine boards for Sacramento.
Lillard had 14 points and made three of Portland’s six three-pointers in the first quarter. Evan Turner hit an off-balance 11-footer to end the period and put the Blazers up 33-31.
After Randolph’s layup over Nurkic pulled Sacramento within 49-47 in the second, Lillard scored nine consecutive points and then added a 17-foot step-back jumper with 1.7 seconds left to put Portland up 62-52 at halftime.
Cleveland 123, at Atlanta 107: Kyle Korver scored a season-high 30 points, including four straight 3-pointers to close the third period, and LeBron James added a triple-double as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-107 for a successful start to their makeover. One day after unloading six players, including guards Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade, in three trades, the Cavaliers were short-handed but still productive.
Indiana 97, at Boston 91: Victor Oladipo scored 35 points for the Pacers, who recovered after blowing a 26-point lead. Boston had won five of six but struggled from outside and finished seven for 27 from three-point range.
at Houston 130, Denver 104: James Harden scored 28 points and Clint Capela added 23 points and a career-high 25 rebounds and the Rockets, who won their seventh straight game. Capela, 23, is the youngest Rocket to have at least 23 points and 25 rebounds in a game since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1985.
at Philadelphia, 100 New Orleans 82: The 76ers’ Joel Embiid recorded his 27th double-double of the season by halftime, with 20 points on nine-for-11 shooting and 10 rebounds. He finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds.
at Miami 91, Milwaukee 85: Dwyane Wade returned to Miami with a quiet game, but his mere presence got a rise out of Heat fans. He scored three points on one-of-6 shooting with two assists.
at Utah 106, Charlotte 94: Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points as the Jazz extended their league-best winning streak to eight. The streak is Utah’s longest since winning nine in a row in 2010.
at Chicago 114, Minnesota 113: Zach LaVine scored 35 points against his former team, and the Bulls spoiled Jimmy Butler’s return to Chicago.
Portland 118, at Sacramento 100: Damian Lillard scored 22 of his season-high 50 points in the third quarter for the Trail Blazers.
Clippers 108, at Detroit 95