CLEVELAND (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers kept it real simple with the game on the line. Just get the ball to Damian Lillard, and get out of the way.
No need for any fancy calls when Lillard's on the court.
The point guard made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining, lifting Portland to a 119-116 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.
"There is no explaining it," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "Damian had it going, so we ran it through him."
Lillard had a career-high eight 3-pointers while scoring 36 points. The 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year also had a fadeaway jumper as time expired to give Portland a 111-109 overtime victory over Detroit on Sunday.
"That was cold-blooded," Cleveland guard Dion Waiters said. "We knew Lillard was getting the ball. That was a big-time shot."
Anderson Varejao's tying basket for Cleveland with 7.1 seconds left prompted a Portland timeout. Lillard took the pass at mid-court, dribbled to the top of the key and buried the winning shot over Alonzo Gee from about 26 feet out.
"He's more capable of dribble-driving by you and finishing," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "Their last game he drove by somebody and shot a pull-up. So you pick your poison."
Lillard had enough time to drive to the basket, but he decided to shoot from beyond the arc.
"I didn't want to get in too deep because they've got some giants in there," Lillard said. "And Alonzo Gee is a great athlete, so I didn't want to drive on him. I gave him a move to get him off balance, and I wanted to be ready when I froze him."
Portland (22-4) has the best record in the NBA and is 11-0 against the Eastern Conference. The Blazers have won five straight and are 12-2 on the road.
Kyrie Irving's bid for a tying 3-pointer from about 35 feet bounced off the back of the rim at the buzzer. Irving and Waiters scored 25 points apiece for Cleveland.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 15 rebounds for Portland.
Lillard's 3-pointer with 5:47 remaining gave Portland a 104-101 lead. Lillard then found Wesley Matthews for another 3, and Aldridge's jumper pushed the lead to 109-101 with 4:16 to play.