CLEVELAND– The Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the team with the best record in basketball on Tuesday, as the Portland Trail Blazers won 119-116 on a Damian Lilliard three-pointer with 4 tenths of a second left.
The winning basket negated a Cavs’ comeback from ten down.
Anderson Varejao scored with 7 seconds left on a short basket to tie the game at 116 all. That set the stage for Lilliard’s heroics. The win for Portland gave them an NBA best 22-4 record.
Lilliard finished with 36 points and ten assists. He was 8 of 12 from three-point land.
Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters shared Cavs scoring honors with 25 points. Waiters was instrumental in the Cavs building a 5-point lead early in that final stanza.
The 4th quarter was a wild one. Portland came into the final stanza leading by 4, 92-88.
Waiters, who refuted reports before the game that he asked to be traded, scored two buckets to tie the game.
An Earl Clark three-pointer and another hoop by Waiters gave the Cavs a 97-92 lead.
Portland came within one point, before Jarrett Jack scored to give Cleveland a 99-96 lead.
LaMarcus Aldridge gave the visitors a brief 101-99 lead before Waiters cashed in to tie the game at 101 apiece.
Lots of time to go after that basket with just under 6 minutes remaining. Consecutive three pointers by Damian Lilliard and Wesley Matthews, coupled with a basket by Aldridge gave Portland a 109-101 with about 4 minutes to go. That deflated the crowd at the Q.
Waiters’ three got the Cavs closer at 109-104 but Portland scored 5 more in a spree and led 114-104 and all looked lost.
However, the Cavs mounted the comeback to tie it but had no good fortune in stopping Lilliard when it counted the most.