Lillard comes up big with overtime win over PistonsDamian Lillard came spinning down the lane at the end of overtime and was blanketed by Rodney Stuckey, leaving Portland’s guard no choice but to fade to his right for a last-ditch shot.
The ball dropped right through the basket, giving the Blazers a victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night that seemed unlikely until the final minutes.
“Stuckey did a great job, but they told me that I was going to have to make a double move to get anything off,” Lillard said. “He blocked my first move, and I knew he wouldn’t let me get to the basket, so I just spun off my other shoulder and put up a fadeaway. It felt good when I let it go, but a lot of shots felt good tonight and didn’t go in.”
That one did - with one tenth of a second left - to lift the Trail Blazers to a 111-109 victory over the Pistons. Lillard scored eight of his 23 points in overtime.
Detroit led by 13 early in the fourth quarter, but the Pistons looked out of sorts offensively down the stretch. Josh Smith scored 31 points, his most since signing with Detroit as a free agent in the offseason, but the chance for a big home victory against one of the league’s most impressive teams slipped away.
“If this doesn’t stink, I don’t know what does,” Smith said. “When I was in Atlanta, we were young and we were in a lot of ballgames, but late down the stretch we couldn’t figure it out - and then later we turned the corner.”
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points for Portland. Moments before Lillard’s winner, Stuckey tied the game for Detroit with a shot from near the free throw line. Portland, which made 21 shots from the 3-point range in Saturday’s rout of Philadelphia, went 7 of 26 on Sunday.
“That wasn’t looking good for most of the second half,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “But we got some big shots from Wesley Matthews and the defense really stepped up.”
Matthews scored 14 points and tied the game with 30.8 seconds remaining in regulation when he made two free throws. Detroit had the ball with 1.1 seconds left, but Kyle Singler’s inbounds pass was stolen, sending the game to overtime.
It looked like it might go to a second overtime, but Lillard was able to create a shot for himself even when his path to the basket was blocked.