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Trail Blazers Advance In NBA Playoffs Thanks To Lillard’s Big Night, Buzzer-Beating Shot

NBA Playoffs Are Around The Corner The ball seemed to hang in the air and the buzzer was sounding. The moment could be frozen in time. Then the ball...

NBA Playoffs Are Around The Corner

The ball seemed to hang in the air and the buzzer was sounding. The moment could be frozen in time.

Then the ball went through the cylinder, fired by Damon Lillard from about 37 feet away, and the game and the series were over. Lillard’s shot gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 118-115 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, wrapping up that NBA first-round playoff series in five games.

The long-distance three also gave Lillard 50 points in the game. He hit 10 of his 18 3-point attempts.

It wasn’t as if the Trail Blazers planned to have anyone else take that last shot when they got the ball back with 18 seconds left. Lillard brought it across midcourt, dribbled, watched the clock run down and then let it fly.

“It was a great feeling when it left my hands,” he said.

But maybe not a great shot. So said the Thunder’s Paul George, who scored 36 points.

“I don’t care what anybody says. That’s a bad shot. But hey, he made it. That story won’t be told that it was a bad shot. We live with that,” he said.

• Two other NBA playoff series concluded Tuesday night. The Philadelphia 76ers, with a 122-100 home victory, eliminated the Brooklyn Nets in five games. The Sixers won four straight. And the Toronto Raptors knocked out the Orlando Magic in five games with a 115-96 triumph.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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