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NBA: Trail Blazers eclipse Suns in OT, Damian Lillard fires 41

NBA: Trail Blazers eclipse Suns in OT, Damian Lillard fires 41
NBA: Trail Blazers eclipse Suns in OT, Damian Lillard fires 41

Anfernee Simons #1 and Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers react after a basket against the Phoenix Suns in overtime at Moda Center on October 21, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP

Anfernee Simons broke a tie with a running hook with 7.2 seconds left in overtime and Damian Lillard recorded 41 points and seven rebounds to help the Portland Trail Blazers stun the visiting Phoenix Suns 113-111 on Friday night.

Jusuf Nurkic added 20 points and 17 rebounds and Simons scored 16 points as Portland won its second straight game to open the season.

Devin Booker scored 33 points and Deandre Ayton added 26 for the Suns, who beat the Dallas Mavericks in their opener on Wednesday.

After Simons’ basket, Ayton was fouled with 1.2 seconds left but missed the first free throw. He then missed the second on purpose and teammate Jock Landale collected the rebound but missed the follow shot just before time expired.

Lillard made 12 of 25 field-goal attempts, including 5 of 12 from 3-point range, and hit all 12 of his free-throw attempts.

The contest was Lillard’s second since his 2021-22 season ended 9 1/2 months ago due to an abdominal injury. The six-time All-Star scored 20 points in Wednesday’s season-opening win over the Sacramento Kings but made just 5 of 18 field-goal attempts.

Booker made back-to-back baskets in the overtime and Chris Paul added a mid-range jumper to give the Suns a 111-106 lead with 1:40 left.

Portland answered with five straight points, the last two on free throws by Lillard to tie it with 33.9 seconds remaining.

Mikal Bridges added 13 points and Paul had 10 points, 12 assists and five steals for Phoenix, which shot 45.7 percent from the field and made 10 of 27 from behind the arc.

Josh Hart added 10 points for the Trail Blazers, who made 43.9 percent of their shots and were 10 of 29 from 3-point range.

Portland scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to take an 82-79 lead.

The Trail Blazers led 95-90 after Lillard’s layup with five minutes left. But Damion Lee connected on a 3-pointer and Ayton dunked on an alley-oop pass from Paul to knot the score with 4:05 to play.

Paul’s layup gave Phoenix a 101-100 edge with 59.9 seconds left. Nurkic hit two free throws to put Portland back ahead with 48 seconds left before Bridges split two free throws to tie it at 102 with 37.1 seconds to go.

Booker and Ayton each scored 15 first-half points as the Suns took a 53-47 halftime lead.

Lillard was 8 of 12 from the field — including 4 of 7 from 3-point range — during a 28-point first half.

Lillard had just five points in the third quarter but the Trail Blazers trailed just 79-75 entering the fourth. He had six points in the fourth and two in overtime.


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