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Lillard’s 32 boosts Blazers

The Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The shots were finally falling for Damian Lillard.

Lillard had 32 points, including 17 in the third quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers staved off elimination to force a decisive Game 7 in their series with Denver with a 119-108 victory on Thursday night.

Lillard had been fairly quiet for the previous two games in the semifinal series, both Portland losses.

“I think over the course of the series, at least after Game 1, I just haven’t seen the ball go in consistently enough,” Lillard said. “My job is to stay aggressive, keep doing what I do, and tonight, shots fell.”

The series now shifts to Denver, where the Nuggets will have a chance to make it to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2009. Denver has been to the conference finals three times in franchise history.

The winner of Sunday’s game will face the winner of the series between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. The defending NBA champion Warriors have a 3-2 advantage in the series after a 104-99 victory on Wednesday night. Game 6 is set for Friday in Houston.

CJ McCollum added 30 points for the Blazers, who haven’t advanced to the conference finals since the 2000 playoffs. Rodney Hood came off the bench with a career playoff-high 25 points and fans at the Moda Center drowned out his postgame on-court interview by chanting “Rodney! Rodney!”Speech

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