Damian Lillard Drops Season-High 49 On Miami

Only Russell Westbrook, at 34.5 points per game, has been scoring more than Lillard since All-Star Weekend.

Lillard, 26, is averaging 26.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists on the season, and ranks fifth in the National Basketball Association in scoring. He was a ideal 36-for-36 from the free throw line, and his 49 points March 19 at Miami marked a season high, while his nine 3-pointers tied a franchise best.

Portland also moved to within two games of the eighth-place Denver Nuggets for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Malcolm Brogdon led the team with 18 points while Tony Snell and Greg Monroe chipped in with 12 points each but this game was over before halftime as the Bucks were blown away in a 36-15 second quarter dominated by the Warriors. "Those guys just didn't let us come back". But maybe if that doesn't happen we don't have the same urgency.

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Evan Turner returned for the Trail Blazers after breaking his right hand five weeks ago, but missed his first six shots and scored just two points off the bench in 18 minutes. Center Hassan Whiteside had 17 points and 10 rebounds for his 12th straight double-double. Whiteside scored Miami's first 10 points, then had seven of the final 94 Heat points. "I thought we were poor defensively". As a team, the Blazers shot 50 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three-point line as they improved to 32-37 on the season which is now good for ninth place in the Western Conference standings. And Lillard's 16 fourth-quarter points were twice as much as Miami's entire starting lineup combined.

Elsewhere, Cody Zeller scored 19 points and the Charlotte Hornets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 98-93 win over the Washington Wizards.

"Well, the understatement is that the first quarter was really an outstanding quarter for us at both ends", Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.

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"There are no excuses, but we were worn out", guard Malcolm Brogdon told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

With Waiters sidelined by the sprained left ankle sustained in Friday's victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves, Spoelstra elected to open with Josh Richardson at shooting guard.

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