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Lillard’s triple-double helps Blazers beat Pistons

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers drives to the basket against Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons during the first half at Little Caesars Arena on March 06, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. AFP PHOTO

DETROIT: Damian Lillard had 31 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, securing his second triple-double of the season before the end of the third quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Detroit Pistons 110-104 on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).

The dynamic guard scored 16 points in the first quarter to give the Trail Blazers a 31-18 lead, and they had little trouble keeping a comfortable margin against a banged-up and slumping team for most of the night.

Detroit pulled within six points with 1:39 left to fire up the previously quiet fans, and Jerami Grant quieted them with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. Grant finished with 26 points against his former team.

Cam Reddish had 13 points, Trendon Watford scored 12 and Drew Eubanks added 10 points for the Trail Blazers, who have won two straight for the first time in a month to strengthen their hopes of rallying into the playoffs.

Isaiah Livers scored 17 for the Pistons, who have lost a season-high eight straight games.

Detroit rookie Jaden Ivey had 13 points and 13 assists, Cory Joseph scored 14 points, Alec Burks had 13 and James Wiseman added 12.

The Pistons were without injured starters Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart and rookie center Jalen Duran, along with key reserve Killian Hayes.

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