Damian Lillard returns on winning note as Blazers force another Lakers late-game collapse
Damian Lillard had a double-double of 21 points and 10 assists in his return from a five-game absence due to an injury. AP

C.J. MCCOLLUM had 27 points, including seven straight in the fourth quarter, as the Portland Trail Blazers returned to the win column with a 118-109 victory against a misfiring Los Angeles Lakers squad on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).   

The Lakers were up 103-99 with 5:39 left in the game but were unable to answer a 10-0 run when Damian Lillard buried a triple followed by McCollum’s three successive shots from the perimeter to put Portland up 109-103.  

McCollum was 11 for 21 from the field and provided steady scoring down the stretch for the Blazers, who also saw Lillard deliver a double-double with 21 points and 10 assists in his first game back from an ankle injury that got him sidelined for Portland's past five outings.    

The Lakers, which led by as much as 14 points, had a 38-point second quarter that gave them a 62-53 halftime lead.

Portland opened the third quarter with a layup and a 3-pointer from Maurice Harkless who sparked a 13-4 run as the Blazers tied the game at 84-all at the end of the period.

Evan Turner led the Blazers reserves with 20 points. Allen Crabbe added 14 while Mason Plumlee came through with 14 marker and seven boards.

D’Angelo had 22 points but missed all eight of his 3-pointers for the Lakers. Jordan Clarkson shot 4 for 7 from downtown for 21 points. Julius Randle delivered 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists.   

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