(The Sports Xchange) - Guard Damian Lillard said not getting an invitation to participate in the NBA All-Star Game didn’t provide extra motivation on Friday night at the Moda Center.
He could have fooled a lot of people with his performance in the Portland Trail Blazers’ 137-105 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors.
Lillard bombed in a career-high 51 points to lead the Trail Blazers (28-27) to the rout of the defending NBA champions and the team with the NBA’s best record this season.
Guard CJ McCollum added 21 points and seven assists and center Mason Plumlee contributed 12 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Blazers, who won for the ninth time in 10 games.
“Whether I make the All-Star team or not, my focus is on making this team a winning team,” said Lillard, who scored 32 points in the second half and 21 in the fourth quarter.
McCollum, however, provided a little insight to his backcourt mate’s mindset.
“Angry Dame,” McCollum said. “He was an angry man out there tonight. That’s what we need. We need him to be aggressive, assertive, play with a chip on his shoulder.
“He carried us tonight. He hit big shots. He defended. He made hustle plays. He didn’t turn the ball over. He played like an All-Star tonight.”
Lillard was 18 of 28 from the field, 9 of 12 from 3-point range and 6 of 7 from the free-throw line. He had seven assists, a career-high six steals and no turnovers in 31 minutes. In a 5:18 span in the fourth quarter, Lillard was 7 of 8 from the field, including 5 of 5 on 3-point shots.
Guard Stephen Curry scored 31 points despite not playing the fourth quarter for the Warriors (48-5), who saw an 11-game win streak ended.
Guard Klay Thompson had 21 points for the Warriors, who suffered their most one-sided loss of the season.
The Blazers shot 53.6 percent from the field and a sizzling 56.7 percent from 3-point range, knocking down 17 of 30 from beyond the arc. Golden State shot only 39.1 percent from the field and .353 (12 of 34) from 3-point range.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr was most unhappy that his players had 13 turnovers in a third quarter in which the Warriors were outscored 36-17.
“They kicked our butts. They served everything, but we should have put up a better effort, a better fight in the third quarter.”
Portland emerged from a whirlwind first half with a 68-62 lead after seizing a 19-point lead early in the second quarter. Lillard had 19 points and six assists in the half. Curry scored 24 and Green compiled 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Warriors.
The Blazers built the lead to 93-75 after nine straight points by Lillard midway through the third quarter. After a 9-0 Portland run, it was 102-75. Portland took a 104-79 advantage into the fourth quarter and increased the margin to 35 points in the late going.
Compiled by Amlan Chakraborty