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  • Portland, OR (SportsNetwork. Carolina Hurricanes Pro Shop .com) - Damian Lillard scored 16 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Portland Trail Blazers survive a tough test from the Los Angeles Lakers, 98-94, on Monday night. Lillard shot 4-of-8 from 3-point range and added six rebounds and five assists to help Portland win for the fifth time in six games. The Trail Blazers also got 21 points from LaMarcus Aldridge and 12 points and 12 rebounds from Meyers Leonard. With Kobe Bryant sitting out for rest, Jordan Hill stepped up with 23 points and 14 boards for the Lakers, who have won just three times in their last 11 games. Jeremy Lin chipped in 14 points, and Wayne Ellington netted 13. Down by seven with less than 5 1/2 minutes to go, Lillard took over the game. He hit triples on back-to-back possessions to start a 12-2 Portland run to put the Trail Blazers up for the first time since early in the third quarter. After Aldridges turnaround jumper with 3:32 to play, Lillard would be the only Trail Blazers to make a shot from the field the rest of the game. Lillard scored nine straight Portland points, including his layup with 36 seconds to go that put the Trail Blazers up for good. Lins layup with seven seconds remaining cut the Los Angeles deficit to three points, but Lillard hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to seal the win. The Lakers led by as much as 10 in the third quarter after an 18-5 run erased Portlands 54-51 lead early in the period. Hills jumper extended the lead to double digits, but Lillard answered with a 3 just 19 seconds later. A possession after Ellingtons jumper gave the Lakers a 73-69 lead with a minute to play in the third, Ronnie Price, who had 11 points and eight assists, was elbowed in the face trying to draw a charge and would not return to the game. Los Angeles held a 73-70 edge after three. Neither team led by more than five in a tight opening period with three ties and six lead changes. With Bryant out, Hill tried to fill the void with eight first-quarter points. With 4:51 to go in the quarter, Nick Young hit a 3-pointer from just inside halfcourt to beat the shot clock, but Portland led 24-23 after 12 minutes. A 3-pointer from Leonard started a 10-0 Portland run with 5:48 to go before halftime, and it was capped by a Nicolas Batum triple that gave the Trail Blazers a 43-36 lead. Hill scored four points in a 7-0 Lakers spurt in response that tied the game with 1:41 to go before the break. Prices layup with 12 seconds left cut Portlands lead to 47-45 at halftime. Game Notes Los Angeles falls to 1-7 in the second game of a back-to-back ... Prior to the game, the Lakers announced that Bryant would sit one game in every remaining back-to-back set of the season ... Portland improves to 20-2 when allowing fewer than 100 points. Custom Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys . Team officials travelled to Los Angeles on Thursday night to meet with the free agent, a person with knowledge of the plans said. Hurricanes Jerseys China . The Big Man finished 3-1 in Week 19, and sits at 53-24 on the season. Now Schultz is ready for more action.ATLANTA -- David Hale made things difficult on the Reds by facing the minimum 21 batters over his last seven innings. That performance leaves Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez with a tough decision. Hale allowed only two hits over eight innings in a performance that may not be enough to save his spot in Atlantas rotation and the Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 on Saturday night. Hale (1-0) has a 2.31 ERA in four starts but could lose his spot in the rotation next week, when left-hander Mike Minor is expected to come off the disabled list. Hale, a rookie right-hander, had good command of his sinkerball as he made it difficult for the Braves to send him back to Triple-A Gwinnett. "I mean, obviously that stuff runs through my head," Hale said of keeping his spot in the rotation. "I try not to let it get too deep in there. My goal is to be here and do the best I can and let things fall the way they will, so well see what happens." Freddie Freeman, Justin Upton and Evan Gattis each homered off Cincinnatis Mike Leake (2-2). Hale gave up a walk and two hits, including Ryan Ludwicks run-scoring double, in the first inning. He didnt allow another hit over the next seven innings. "So he threw a no-hitter after that," Ludwick said. "He did an outstanding job. What did we have? Two hits? ... Not a whole lot of offence." Reds manager Bryan Price said Hale "just never really gave us a chance. He pitched really well. It was very impressive." Cincinnatis only other baserunner against Hale came on Jay Bruces leadoff walk in the fourth, and the Braves ended that inning with a double play. Craig Kimbrel closed the combined two-hitter -- a season low for the Reds -- for his eighth save. Kimbrel gave up a one-out walk to Joey Votto in the ninth before striking out Brandon Phillips and Bruce to end the game. Freeman hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Upton and Gattis hit back-to-back homers in the third. Upton, who also hit a homer in the Braves 5-4 win on Friday night, leads the team with seven. Ludwick reached over the left-field wall to take another homer away from Freeman in the third innning. Wholesale Hurricanes Jerseys. The three homers matched the most allowed in a game by Leake, who gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings. Minor was projected as one of the teams top starters even before Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy had season-ending elbow injuries in spring training. Minor had urinary tract surgery on Dec. 31, which pushed back his spring schedule. He then developed shoulder soreness and was shut down in spring training. Before the game, Gonzalez brushed off Minors ugly numbers in what is expected to be his final minor league rehab appearance on Friday night for Double-A Mississippi at Pensacola. Gonzalez said a "howling" wind was a major factor as Minor gave up five runs and 10 hits, including four homers. Gonzalez said hell wait until after Minors next side session to announce any rotation changes for next week. After Hales dominant performance, Gonzalez wouldnt be drawn into a discussion on how hell find a spot for Minor. "Let me enjoy the day, and well talk about it in the morning," Gonzalez said. The Reds held out third baseman Todd Frazier after he left Friday nights game with tightness in his left leg. Price said Frazier probably could have played and likely will miss only one game. Neftali Soto was 0-for-3 in his first career start as Fraziers replacement. NOTES: The Cincinnati Reds placed C Devin Mesoraco on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The team recalled C Tucker Barnhart from Triple-A Louisville. ... Leake also allowed three homers against Pittsburgh on July 19, 2013. ... Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman, on the DL with facial fractures after he was hit by a line drive on March 19, threw 43 pitches in batting practice. He is scheduled to throw another simulated game on Tuesday in Cincinnati before beginning a rehab stint in the minors. ... B.J. Uptons infield single in the first was his 1,000th career hit. ... The Braves released Triple-A Gwinnett first baseman Ernesto Mejia after reaching a deal for him to play with Japans Seibu Lions. ... The series ends Sunday with Atlantas Julio Teheran facing Johnny Cueto in a matchup of right-handers with ERAs under 2.00. ' ' '
      January 3, 2020 7:03 PM MST
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