Detroit at Portland
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
PORTLAND — Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers believe they can use games like this one against Dallas to help them prepare for the final push toward the playoffs.
“It’s not about who our opponent is, it’s about the style of play that we want to play, the discipline we want to have, the things we want to do well, that will translate to when we play against the top teams,” Lillard said. “As long as we have that right attitude and we do things the right way, I think we’ll keep getting this result when we play against teams we should beat.”
Detroit at Portland
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Lillard had 33 points and 12 assists to lead Portland past the struggling Mavericks 126-118 on Wednesday night.
Seth Curry scored 20 off the bench for the Blazers, who have won five of six as they try to secure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Portland (44-27) led by as many as 25, and Lillard hit six of the team’s 16 3-pointers.
Luka Doncic had 24 points for the Mavericks, who have lost nine of 10 and are ahead of only Phoenix in the Western Conference.
The Trail Blazers are fourth in the West, a half-game back of Houston and in front of a cluster that includes the Spurs, Thunder, Jazz and Clippers.
Portland rested Lillard in the final period after a 17-point third quarter, which included a stretch when he hit four straight 3-pointers. Enes Kanter added 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for his first double-double since joining the Blazers just before the All-Star break.
“I thought it was another very special night by Damian,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I thought he pretty much controlled the game from our standpoint. He took advantage of his scoring opportunities, had another great night passing, finding people.”
Portland was coming off a 106-98 victory at home over Indiana on Monday. That was the team’s first game without starting guard C.J. McCollum, who strained his left knee last weekend. McCollum will be re-evaluated next week, and no timetable has been set for his return.
The Blazers started Jake Layman for the second straight game in McCollum’s place.
76ers 118, Celtics 115: PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid had 37 points, 22 rebounds and a key block on Kyrie Irving with 35 seconds remaining, and Jimmy Butler scored 15 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to lead Philadelphia over Boston for its sixth straight victory. Tobias Harris added 21 points for the 76ers, who avoided a season sweep by the Celtics. Philadelphia (47-25) holds the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, three games ahead of idle Indiana and four in front of fifth-place Boston.
Raptors 123, Thunder 114: OKLAHOMA CITY — Pascal Siakam had 33 points and 13 rebounds, Fred VanVleet added 23 points and six assists and Toronto won the first of two games in three days against Oklahoma City, blowing a 20-point lead in the second half before beating the Thunder. Atlantic Division-leading Toronto snapped a four-game losing streak against Oklahoma City despite the absence of starting guard Kyle Lowry, who sat out with a sprained right ankle sustained Monday in a win over the New York Knicks.
Grizzlies 126, Rockets 125: MEMPHIS, Tenn. — James Harden scored 57 points but Memphis outlasted Houston, handing the Rockets only their second loss in the last 14 games. Mike Conley scored 35 points for Memphis and Jonas Valanciunas had a career-best 33, including the game-winning free throw with less than a second left. Valanciunas made the first of two free throws with 0.1 seconds remaining after he was fouled by Clint Capela under the Grizzlies basket. The clock ran out after Valanciunas, who also had 15 rebounds, missed the second foul shot.
Heat 110, Spurs 105: SAN ANTONIO — Goran Dragic had 22 points and Miami snapped the Spurs’ nine-game winning streak, sending Dwyane Wade home a winner in his final game in San Antonio. Dion Waiters added 18 points and Josh Richardson had 15 for Miami, which has won three straight.
Cavaliers 107, Bucks 102: CLEVELAND — Rookie Collin Sexton scored 25 points, Jordan Clarkson added 23 and the Cavaliers delayed Milwaukee from clinching the Central Division with a win over the bruised Bucks, who were without superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Sexton made a 3-pointer with 1:42 left and dropped a driving layup one minute later as the Cavs held on.
Magic 119, Pelicans 96: ORLANDO, Fla. — Evan Fournier scored 22 points and Aaron Gordon added 20 and Orlando routed New Orleans. Terrence Ross had 19 points and Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 17 rebounds for Orlando, which won its third straight.
Jazz 137, Knicks 116: NEW YORK — Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points, Rudy Gobert made all seven shots and added 18 points, and Utah romped to its fifth straight lopsided victory by beating New York. Joe Ingles made six 3-pointers and also scored 18, while Mitchell made five 3-pointers as the Jazz finished 20 of 42 (48 percent) from behind the arc. The Jazz led by as much as 37 in a game that was even easier than their recent easy victories. They started their winning streak with a 17-point win over Phoenix, then beat Minnesota by 20, Brooklyn by 16 and Washington by 21.
Bulls 126, Wizards 120: CHICAGO — Lauri Markkanen had 32 points and 13 rebounds, Kris Dunn scored a season-high 26 — including eight in overtime — to go with 13 assists, and short-handed Chicago beat fading Washington.