Blazers Beat Lakers 97-81, Tie Denver for Final Spot in West
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 22 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 97-81 on Sunday night to pull even with Denver in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Both the Blazers and Nuggets are 35-38 with nine games left in the regular season. They play each other Tuesday in Portland.
Denver lost at home to the New Orleans Pelicans earlier Sunday night.
Portland took control by outscoring the Lakers 37-24 in the third quarter and led by as many as 26 points. Los Angeles shot 39 percent from the field and was outrebounded 61-42.
Allen Crabbe added 18 points off the bench for the Blazers, and Noah Vonleh grabbed 14 rebounds.
D'Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 22 points, and Tyler Ennis scored 14 off the bench.