TORONTO (AP) — With Damian Lillard double-teamed, Carmelo Anthony stepped up to sink the game-winning basket for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Anthony made a clutch shot with four seconds remaining and Portland rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 101-99 Tuesday night.
“A guy with his type of ability, it’s just a matter of opportunity,” Lillard said. “He had one guy guarding him and he got to his spot. Once he got to his spot and I saw him raising up, I thought it was going in.”
Anthony scored 28 points, Lillard had 20 and Hassan Whiteside added 14 points and 16 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double as the Trail Blazers snapped a four-game losing streak in Toronto and won for the second time in 10 meetings with the defending champion Raptors.
“This is a big confidence booster for us, a big morale boost,” Anthony said.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts agreed.
“I was really proud of the way our team competed tonight, particularly in the fourth quarter,” Stotts said. “At the end of the season, you look back on different games, and this could very well be a game that we look back on that turned the tide.”
Portland had lost six of seven overall. The Blazers improved to 2-12 against opponents with winning records.
Anfernee Simons scored 12 points and C.J. McCollum had 10 after sitting out Sunday’s loss in Miami because of an upper-respiratory infection.
The Blazers trailed 78-69 through three quarters, then fell behind 85-73 with 8:20 to go, but Lillard tied it at 99 on a 35-foot 3-pointer with 38 seconds left in the fourth, leading to a Raptors timeout.
Toronto coach Nick Nurse was adamant that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had been the victim of an illegal screen by Whiteside on Lillard’s deep 3.
“It was clearly, clearly an offensive foul on Whiteside that wiped us out to tie the game,” Nurse said.
Toronto’s Patrick McCaw turned it over with 13.6 seconds remaining, giving the Blazers a chance at a winning shot. With Lillard under wraps, McCollum took the inbounds pass and got the ball to Anthony, who connected from near the free throw line.
Kyle Lowry got one final chance for the Raptors, but his off-balance 3 bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
Portland connected on 12 of 19 attempts in the fourth, making six shots from long range.
Lowry had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 11 rebounds as the injury-ravaged Raptors lost for just the second time in 16 games against opponents with losing records. Toronto’s only other loss to a sub-.500 team came against Boston in the second game of the season, when the Celtics were 0-1.
Oshae Brisett scored a career-high 12 points for Toronto and Chris Boucher also had 12, including 10 straight Raptors points in the fourth.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet sat out because of a strained right hamstring, joining a group of injured Toronto starters that includes Norman Powell (left shoulder), Marc Gasol (left hamstring) and Pascal Siakam (groin).
VanVleet limped off late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s win at Brooklyn and did not practice Monday. Nurse said it would be “a little bit” before the team determined a timeline for VanVleet’s return.
Hollis-Jefferson started for VanVleet.
Portland’s Kent Bazemore was ejected with 3:06 left in the third after a double technical. Bazemore got tossed for arguing after complaining about several non-calls.
“Just frustrated and took it upon myself to express it,” Bazemore said.
TIME TO LEAD
Besides the final score, Portland’s only other lead was 4-3 in the first quarter. The Blazers led for a total of 18 seconds.
Portland is 5-3 when Anthony scores 20 or more.
Trail Blazers: Portland shot 1 for 8 from 3-point range in the first quarter. … Lillard attempted just three shots in the first half. He shot 5 for 8 in the final two quarters.
Raptors: In their first home game since his death on New Year’s Day, the Raptors honored late NBA Commissioner David Stern with a video tribute and a moment of silence. … Asked about Powell’s return, Nurse said “we should see him soon.” … G Matt Thomas returned after missing 21 games because of a broken left middle finger. His first shot was an airball.
Trail Blazers: Visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.
Raptors: Visit the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.
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