Lillard leads surging Trail Blazers past Knicks

Wed Mar 2, 2016 1:06am EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - Watching Damian Lillard get 20 or 30 points has become routine for the Portland Trail Blazers.

So has winning.

Lillard scored 30 points and the surging Trail Blazers continued rolling with a 104-85 victory over the New York Knicks Tuesday night.

"It seems natural," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "I don't think anybody is surprised."

Lillard posted his 19th game with 30 points and only Golden State's Stephen Curry, Houston's James Harden and Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins have more games with at least 30 this season. He also reached 30 points for the eighth time in his last nine games by hitting eight of 18 shots and making 10 free throws, extending his streak to 48.

"He's playing at a really elite level, efficient, drawing contract when he gets to the rim, getting to the free-throw line, hitting tough shots and making players around him better," Portland guard CJ McCollum said. "So this is one of the best runs I've seen him on, 30-point games, efficiently doing it against quality competition. So I'd say this is some of the best basketball I've seen."

Most of Lillard's production occurred during the first half, including during one quick stretch late in the first half when Portland took an eight-point lead. He had 14 of his 24 points in the final four-plus minutes of the half, including 11 straight as the Trail Blazers took the lead for good.

"For me I've been here all four years and I've seen it with his work pre-game, pre-practice, during practice, late night," Portland forward Meyers Leonard said. "He's a humble guy and he gets his work in. That's why I know and I'm not surprised by anything he's doing."

The latest showing by Lillard helped the Trail Blazers win for the 10th time in 12 games, 18th time in their last 22 games and sixth straight road game.   Continued...

Mar 1, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) drives to the basket past New York Knicks center Robin Lopez (8) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports