----- Damian Lillard ties his career-high with 61-points as the Portland Trail Blazers top the Dallas Mavericks 134-131 Tuesday night and now sit one-win away from clinching the 8-seed before the NBA play-in games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
The Damian Lillard Show!
Damian Lillard became the first Trail Blazers player in history to put up back-to-back 50-point games as he tied a career-high Tuesday night scoring 61-points in Portland's 134-131 over the Dallas Mavericks. Lillard scored 51 on Sunday in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lillard joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only two players in history to have three 60-point games in the same season. He finished 17 of 32 from the floor and 9 of 17 from beyond the arc while making all 18 free throw attempts.
After the game, Lillard was asked if his recent heroics is starting to sink in with what he's been able to accomplish:
"I know it was a great game. Last game (Philadelphia) and this game," Lillard said. But, I'm going out there thinking I'm going to do whatever I've got to do for us to win these games."
Carmelo Anthony added 26 points on 10-of 17 shooting for Portland.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 36 points and Luka Doncic had 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Mavericks, who will finish No. 7 in the West.
Dallas took a 124-121 lead with 3:11 to play, but the Blazers responded with two threes from Lillard and a clutch three-pointer from Anthony to pull even at 130 with 1:29 to play. Lillard found Whiteside for a Dunk on their next possession to give Portland the lead for good.
The win moves Portland into 8th place in the Western Conference with one-game left to play on Thursday. If the Blazers beat the Brooklyn Nets Thursday, they will be the 8th seed in this weekend's play-game games needing just one victory to secure their spot in the playoffs and a first round match up against the LA Lakers.
The game featured the two leading scorers since the NBA restart, with Doncic entering averaging 33.4 points and Lillard 33.
More bad news for Portland in the injury front. According to reports, CJ McCollum has been playing with a L3 vertebral transverse process fracture (non-displaced) since last Thursday. In layman's terms, he has a fracture in his lower back. He has played three games since the injury.
McCollum went 2-14 from the field but hit two clutch free throws to push Portland into a three-point lead with 3.9 seconds to go.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers conclude their regular season Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets inside the bubble in Orlando. Game is scheduled to tip off at 6:00 PM.
Chad's Take- Don't make Lillard angry, you wouldn't like him when he's angry!