Damian Lillard poured in 51 points and added seven assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 124-121 victory over a Philadelphia 76ers’ squad that lost Joel Embiid to injury on Sunday night near Orlando.
Carmelo Anthony recorded 20 points and seven rebounds as Portland (33-39) moved within a half-game of the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference race. The Trail Blazers are a half-game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs and one game in front of the Phoenix Suns for the play-in berth.
Josh Richardson scored a season-best 34 points and matched a season high of six 3-pointers for the 76ers (42-28). Embiid exited with a left ankle injury with 6:18 left in the first quarter and had two points on 1-of-6 shooting and collected four rebounds.
Alec Burks scored 20 points off the bench for Philadelphia, which played without Ben Simmons (knee). Tobias Harris added 16 points, Al Horford tallied 15 and Shake Milton had 11.
Lillard was 16-of-28 shooting while producing his fifth 50-point effort of the season and 10th of his career. CJ McCollum scored 16 points, Jusuf Nurkic added 15 and Mario Hezonja had 12.
Anthony moved into 15th place in NBA history with 26,411 career points. He passed Paul Pierce (26,397) and John Havlicek (26,395).
Lillard converted a four-point play and followed with a 3-pointer to cap a 12-0 burst that saw the Trail Blazers take a 120-114 lead with 2:25 left.
Lillard’s next basket pushed him over 50 before the 76ers scored five straight on a basket by Burks and a 3-pointer by Horford to move within 122-121 with 12.2 seconds left.
Nurkic made two free throws with 10.2 seconds remaining to make it a three-point margin before Richardson missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the score.
Portland connected on 47.3 percent of its shots, including 11 of 35 from behind the arc.
The 76ers shot 48.5 percent from the field and made 14 of 30 from 3-point range.
Philadelphia was 15-of-22 shooting in the third quarter while outscoring Portland 34-24. Richardson tallied 12 points in the stanza, including a jumper with 4.4 seconds left to give the 76ers their first lead of the game at 92-91.
Lillard scored 22 first-half points as Portland held a 67-58 halftime lead. The Trail Blazers led by 17 in the opening minute of the second quarter before the 76ers cut into the margin.