MIAMI – The end of a five-game road trip, capped by a back-to-back, is not the usual scenario for someone to have an offensive explosion.
Damian Lillard apparently disagrees.
Lillard scored a season-high 49 points, tied a career high with nine 3-pointers, and carried the Portland Trail Blazers past the Miami Heat, 115-104 on Sunday night. He had 16 points after checking in for the final time with 8:26 left, sparking a game-ending 28-18 run.
“I felt good, so in my mind I was like ‘When I get back in the game, I’m just going to take the game over,’ ” Lillard said. “That’s the kind of game I felt I had going.”
Lillard shot 14-for-21 from the field, 9-for-12 from 3-point range and made all 12 of his free throws. He checked back in with Miami having cut Portland’s lead down to one, and immediately scored the next five points to help the Trail Blazers move closer to the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Cavaliers 125, Lakers 120
In Los Angeles, Kyrie Irving scored 46 points, LeBron James added 34 and Cleveland had to rally from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Spurs 118, Kings 102
In San Antonio, Pau Gasol scored 22 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18.
76ers 105, Celtics 99
In Philadelphia, Robert Covington made the go-ahead 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter.
Raptors 116, Pacers 91
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 22 points in three quarters, and all five Toronto starters were in double figures.
Mavericks 111, Nets 104
In New York, Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points and nine rebounds.
Pistons 112, Suns 95
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 23 points and Detroit overcame a sluggish performance for the much of the game.
Pelicans 123, T-Wolves 109
In New Orleans, Anthony Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds.
UCLA beats Cincinnati
Sacramento California AP
UCLA had trouble getting its high-octane offense going in the first half against Cincinnati’s big, athletic defenders.
Once the Bruins got rolling, there was no stopping them — all the way into the Sweet 16.
Next up: A blue blood rematch with Kentucky in the South Regional semifinals.
Lonzo Ball scored 19 points and ignited UCLA’s rally from a poor start with nine second-half assists, lifting the third-seeded Bruins to a 79-67 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday in the South Regional.
“I don’t know of a more fun basketball team to watch when we’re clicking and we’ve had a lot of games where we’ve been clicking,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said.
N. Carolina 72, Arkansas 65
In Greenville, South Carolina, Kennedy Meeks had 16 points and a huge tip-in with 44.2 seconds left to help North Carolina barely avoid a huge upset.
Kentucky 65, Wichita State 62
In Indianapolis, Bam Adebayo had a double-double and swatted away the final shot as Kentucky sent Wichita State to yet another second-round heartbreak.
South Carolina 88, Duke 81
In Greenville, Sindarius Thornwell had 24 points, Chris Silva scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half and seventh-seeded South Carolina stunned No. 2 seed Duke.
Baylor 82, S. California 78
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Johnathan Motley had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Michigan 73, Louisville 69
In Indianapolis, Moe Wagner scored a career-high 26 points and spurred a furious second-half rally.
Oregon 75, Rhode Island 72
In Sacramento, Tyler Dorsey hit a contested go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 38.4 seconds to play.
Kansas 90, Michigan State 70
In Tulsa, Josh Jackson scored 14 of his 23 points in the second half.