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Trail Blazers take over 8th seed with win over Mavericks

Damian Lillard’s 61-point performance against the Mavericks has pushed the Trail Blazers into the playoff picture.

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers controls the ball against Kristaps Porzingis #6 and Trey Burke #32 of the Dallas Mavericks during the first half at The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 11, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  Photo by Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images

Damian Lillard has willed the Portland Trail Blazers into the playoff picture. The All-Star scored turned on “Dame Time” successfully this time around to take down the Dallas Mavericks 134-131 on Tuesday. The Memphis Grizzlies lost to Boston Celtics , so the Trail Blazers’ win bumped them up to sixth in the Western Conference.

Lillard amassed 61 points, 5 rebound, and 8 assists to tally 84.25 DKFP. He was 17-for-32 from the field and made nine threes. He was also a perfect 18-for-18 from the free throw line. He’s now scored at least 50 points in two straight games.

Lillard didn’t do it all alone, as Carmelo Anthony had a solid night as well. The wing chipped in with 26 points and 8 rebounds to finish with 44 DKFP.

The Mavericks benefitted from Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis returning after taking Monday off. Porzingis led Dallas in scoring with 36 points and 6 rebounds. He finished with 50 DKFP. Doncic flirted with triple-double and racked up 25 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists. He had a team-high 51.5 DKFP.

Now it looks like the Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs will have to battle it out for a play-in series. The Blazers can lock up the eighth seed with a win against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.