Lillard ties own Blazers record with 11 3s in win

PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard tied his own regular-season franchise record by making 11 3-pointers and finished with 38 points, leading the Portland Trail Blazers over the Minnesota Timberwolves 133-112 on Monday night.

Lillard shot 11-for-17 from long range, and he didn’t play in the fourth quarter. The Blazers never trailed and led by as many as 27.

It was Lillard’s third career regular-season game with 11 3-pointers, trailing only the Golden State WarriorsStephen Curry (12) for games with at least 11 made 3s. Klay Thompson of the Warriors is the only other player with multiple such games with two. Lillard’s 11 3s also trailed only Thompson’s 14 for the most through three quarters in the 3-point era.

Lillard had 12 3s in a playoff game, a double-overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of the first round of the 2021 playoffs.

“I literally didn’t know how many 3s I had,” Lillard said. “I was just shooting. I knew I was in double digits, and I thought I made a lot of 3s tonight and then I think how many did I shoot?”

With the game out of reach, Portland coach Chauncey Billups wasn’t tempted to put Lillard back in the game in the fourth.

“He was on a heater that was fun to watch,” Billups said. “He can always use some rest, as well. But we rode him as good as we could, and we was able to take care of business.”

Jerami Grant had 24 points for Portland, and Jusuf Nurkic added 14 points and 16 rebounds.

D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points for Minnesota, and Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 20 rebounds. The Timberwolves shot 49% (46-for-93) from the field, 53% (10-for-19) on free throws and 37% (10-for-27) on 3s.

“When you miss that many free throws and layups, it really comes down to were we really ready to play?” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “And all of the 3s, we need to get those under control.”

Lillard made eight 3s and scored 27 points as the Blazers took a 70-59 halftime lead. He opened the second half by making his ninth 3-pointer.

The Blazers pushed their lead to 15 multiple times in the third quarter, and Lillard tied his team record with his 11th 3 for an 88-70 lead with 5:45 left in the third quarter.

Lillard continued his great play since returning from a calf strain on Dec. 4. Over the past four games, Lillard has averaged 33.7 points while shooting 50% from the field, 50% from the 3-point line and 100% from the free throw line.

The Timberwolves closed to 88-78, forcing the Blazers to call a timeout. Portland then pushed its lead to 106-84 going into the fourth, and the advantage reached 27 in the final quarter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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