Damian Lillard made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining, lifting the Portland Trail Blazers to a 119-116 win over the Cleveland Cavalierson Tuesday night.
Lillard had a career-high eight 3-pointers while scoring 36 points. The 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year also had a fadeaway jumper as time expired to give Portland a 111-109 overtime victory over Detroit on Sunday.
Portland (22-4) has the best record in the NBA and is 11-0 against the Eastern Conference. The Blazers have won five straight and are 12-2 on the road.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 15 rebounds for Portland.
Irving passed to Anderson Varejao for the tying basket with 7.1 seconds to go, leading to a timeout for Portland. Lillard took the pass at mid-court, dribbled to the top of the key and buried the winning shot over Alonzo Gee.
Lillard’s 3-pointer with 5:47 remaining gave Portland a 104-101 lead. Lillard then found Wesley Matthews for another 3, and Aldridge’s jumper pushed the lead to 109-101 with 4:16 to play.
Matthews made a 3-pointer and Aldridge scored to make it 114-104 with 2:15 remaining.
Irving then scored nine straight points for the Cavaliers, including a three-point play with 33.8 seconds left that cut the lead to 116-114. After Aldridge missed in the lane, the Cavaliers called timeout with 16.5 seconds remaining. Irving drove into the lane and found Varejao, who tied the game.
Waiters scored 11 points in the quarter. He missed the morning shootaround after banging knees with teammate Tyler Zeller in practice Monday.
Lillard hit three 3-pointers within a span of 1:09 in the third quarter as the Blazers scored nine straight points to overcome a 69-61 deficit.
The Blazers began their four-game trip with a 35-point win in Philadelphia on Saturday in which they hit 21 3-pointers and followed that with two dramatic victories. They went 15 for 33 from long range against the Cavs.
Cleveland scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to take a 97-92 lead. Six points by Waiters and a 3-pointer by Earl Clark accounted for the run.
The game featured two of the hottest players in the league. Irving was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 29 points in three games last week. Aldridge was named the West’s top player for the third time this season after averaging 25.5 points in the Blazers’ four wins last week.
Cleveland has lost to Miami and Portland in its last two games.
By Keith Caulfield,
It’s official: Beyonce’s new self-titled album debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making her the first woman to hit No. 1 with her first five studio albums.
It follows the chart-topping “Dangerously In Love” (2003), “B’Day” (2006), “I Am…Sasha Fierce” (2008) and “4″ (2011). All five of her albums also debuted at No. 1.
The two other acts that have taken their first five studio sets to No. 1: rapper DMX and folk group the Kingston Trio. (DMX also happens to be the only other act, aside from Beyonce, to debut at No. 1 with his first five studio efforts.)
“Beyonce” was released on the morning of Dec. 13 — exclusively via the iTunes Store without any pre-release announcement — and it sold 617,000 copies through the week ending Dec. 15, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s a record high sales week for Beyonce, as the diva’s previous best week came when “B’Day” bowed with 541,000.
iTunes is the exclusive seller of the album, released on Columbia Records, through Dec. 18. The physical version of the album should start to reach U.S. retailers sometime between Dec. 18 and 20. (The arrival day varies, depending on how far — and fast — the CDs travel from Sony’s distribution center to retailers.)
“Beyonce” also notches the largest sales week for a woman in 2013, and the year’s fourth-biggest sales week overall. It follows the No. 1 debuts of Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” (968,000), Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2″ (792,000) and Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same” (658,000). (The last larger week for a woman was when Taylor Swift’s “Red” debuted with 1.2 million at No. 1 upon its release in October 2012.)
As previously reported, iTunes announced that “Beyonce” tallied the largest sales week for an album in its U.S. iTunes Store and was its fastest-selling title ever globally (828,773 sold worldwide through Dec. 15).
(To note: The music industry tracks weekly sales on a Monday through Sunday basis, hence why Beyonce’s feat is being measured after only three days on sale.)
“Beyonce’s” launch is also the second-largest digital sales week overall — counting all digital retailers. It’s second behind the debut frame of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which sold 662,000 downloads in its first week. (That number was enhanced by Amazon MP3′s decision to sell the set for 99-cents for two days during its first week. Billboard has estimated that Amazon MP3′s 99-cent version resulted in 440,000 copies sold.)
“Beyonce” is only the second digital-only album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, following the 2010 all-star live charity album “Hope For Haiti Now.” It debuted at No. 1 with 171,000 downloads sold, after no more than two full days on sale. (It was released on an off-cycle Jan. 23, while the tracking week ended on Jan. 25.) It spent a second week at No. 1, shifting 143,000 downloads in its first full week on sale.
The rest of the new Billboard 200 chart’s top 10 will be revealed on Dec. 18. Expected top 10 arrivals include R. Kelly’s new “Black Panties” and Childish Gambino’s “Because the Internet.”
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