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NBA -- Lillard leads charge as Blazers make the climb


PhilBoxing.com




PORTLAND -- The Portland Trail Blazers are navigating through a tough schedule this week where they will be facing four playoffs-bound teams.

After three assignments so far, they are 3-0.

They hosted the Indiana Pacers and the Houston Rockets at home at the Moda Center on Monday and Thursday and then faced the Lakers in Los Angeles yesterday at the Staples Center where an emotional tribute was made for fallen icon Kobe Bryant, who perished in a helicopter crash six days ago along with his 13-year old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers.

After beating the Pacers, 139-128, and the Rockets, 125-112, the Blazers continued their tear with an impressive 127-119 victory over the grieving Lakers.

Lillard, a California native, was especially destructive against the Lakers as he scored 48 points and 10 assists including 23 in the third quarter.

But the victory was bitter-sweet for the perennial All-Star.

"I don't feel like anybody feels like we walked away as a winner given tonight, given the circumstances," he told reporters. "The memories that we'll take away from it was just sad and tough. It's good that we had to compete."

And just like that, Portland, which fell to as low as 16-24 on January 11, has now moved up to 22-27 and are just two games behind the 24-25 Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth playoffs berth in the West,

In all three wins. Lillard has been the catalyst with a combined total of 134 points and 34 assists.

Can he keep the pace?

The Blazers host the Utah Jazz today.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ryan Gallardo.


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