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Pelicans drop close game to Trailblazers after Lillard's clutch play

Zion Williamson finished with 36 points for New Orleans.
Credit: AP
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard fouls New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) and he drives to the basket against center Enes Kanter (11) and forward Derrick Jones Jr. in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Pelicans dropped a close game against Portland Wednesday, missing two last-chance shots to win or tie the game.

Damian Lillard scored 43 points, including a go-ahead three-point play with 16.5 seconds left, to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to their sixth consecutive victory, 126-124 over the New Orleans Pelicans. 

Lillard had 11 fourth-quarter points and was clutch in the final seven minutes.

Zion Williamson finished with 36 points for New Orleans.

The Pelicans had a final chance, but Lonzo Ball missed a 3-pointer and Brandon Ingram threw up an airball at the buzzer. 

Pelicans starting Center Steven Adams left in the first quarter with a right ankle injury. Willy Hernangomez put up 17 points and 11 rebounds in his absence while Jaxson Hayes put up 5 points and 4 rebounds in a backup role.

The Pelicans take on the Phoenix Suns at the Smoothie King Center on Friday.

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