On Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers, Lillard missed a pair of free throws with 18.6 seconds left and a 3-runner with 9.5 seconds left in a 122-117 loss. Clippers players Paul George and Patrick Beverley were seen laughing at Lillard’s misfortune.
Lillard had the last laugh on Sunday scoring 18 points in the fourth quarter.
“It wasn’t really my performance yesterday and I wanted to play a certain way today,” he said. “It was like, we blurted out a mistake we should have had yesterday, and I’m a big part of why it got away from us. So tonight, I was like, “This won’t happen. ”
Portland bounced back and fired in half a Memphis game for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers have increased their chances of qualifying for the play-in series, which begins on Saturday.
The 76ers lost a lot more than the game. All-Star center Joel Embiid started in the first quarter with what the team called a left ankle injury, and he didn’t come back. He contested a blow, then stepped back and awkwardly entered the candlestick. He had averaged 30 points per game since the restart.
76ers coach Brett Brown hasn’t said if Embiid will miss the time.
“I’m going to learn more physically,” Brown said. “I don’t know enough to comment on this. ”
It was another bad news for the 76ers. All-Star playmaker Ben Simmons is indefinitely absent with an injured left knee.
Josh Richardson scored 34 points, a season-high, and Alec Burks added 20 for Philadelphia. The 76ers would be tied with the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a win.
Without their stars, the 76ers fell 17 behind in the second quarter and led 67-58 at halftime.
The game tightened late. Philadelphia’s Al Horford hit a 3-pointer to reduce Portland’s lead to 122-121. Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic made two free throws with 10.2 seconds left to put his team in place of three. Richardson missed a 3-pointer for Philadelphia, and the 76ers couldn’t get another shot after a run for the rebound.
“I thought our guys fought,” Brown said. “I really found the spirit of the group to be fantastic. We brought in a lot of different players who I think played with a spirit and a passion that you are proud of. ”
76ers: Horford received a technical foul in the third quarter. He scored 15 points. … Burks scored 15 points in the fourth quarter.
Trail Blazers: Lillard scored a basket in the first quarter as he headed for the hoop and his pass bounced off Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris from the back panel and into the basket. … Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points and took 15th place on the NBA career scorecard.
Lillard on managing the pressure: “I’m ready to risk everything,” he said. “If we lose I can handle it – be short like yesterday. When we win it’s like, “Let’s do it again. ” I like this. It’s funny. ”
Lillard made 16 of 28 shots and 15 of 16 free throws.
“I told myself when I entered the match that I get out of the tear as soon as the ball is thrown in the air, I’m going. I’m attacking, ”he said. “And that was it. ”
Lillard had 5 of 6 field goals and 5 of 6 free throws in the fourth quarter.
76ers: Play the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
Trail Blazers: Play the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
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