Damian Lillard made a bit of history on Wednesday night at home for the Portland Trail Blazers against the Orlando Magic. Lillard led the Blazers to a 115-112 win on the back of ten (yes ten!) made three pointers on the night. On top of making history by making the most 3’s in team history, the guard helped the team erase what had been a three game losing skid prior to it. The win takes them to 13-8 and still well within the playoff race as a result. The Magic, meanwhile, are still second in the southeast but have just a 10-12 record. Not much is expected of them this season, and in truth second in the division would probably be seen as a vast improvement given where they have been for quite a long time. The game itself wasn’t nearly as close as the score suggests, with Portland leading 108-98 with five minutes to go. The Magic did its best to battle back, but they had left too big of a hole and it was too little too late.
Elsewhere, the Houston Rockets lost again, this time to rivals Dallas Mavericks, and it was in convincing fashion, too. The Mavs defeated the Rockets, who now have fallen to a 9-11 record through nearly a quarter of the season, by a score of 128-108. Rookie Luka Doncic had 20 points along with Devin Harris, and the 25 scored by James Harden just wasn’t nearly enough. After the game, Mark D’Antoni bemoaned the lack of depth in the team. That was always going to be a problem after the run that they made last season and the changes they were forced to make. It’s now catching up to them.
In college basketball, the ACC-Big Ten Challenge took place last night, and some interesting results came from those games. The new NCAA method for determining rankings had Ohio State first in its first ever release, but the 16th ranked team in the polls got clobbered by Syracuse 72-62. No. 7 Michigan hammered no. 11 North Carolina, of whom Roy Williams said “stunk” 84-67 in a fairly easy win. And the other game of note was Virginia, at no.4, defeating no. 24 Maryland 75-71. It wasn’t the Cavaliers’ usual great defensive game, but they got the job done nonetheless and have shown they score the ball, too.