Lillard took over down the stretch and in overtime, carrying the Blazers offense on his back. He dished out 11 assists and grabbed five rebounds to go along with his 41 points, 26 of which came in the second half and overtime. He was the best player on the court, much like he has been in many contests since the All-Star Game.
Wall was great, too. He had 20 points and 11 assists, but couldn't make the shots when they mattered most. He had a shot to win the game at the end of regulation that clanked off the left side of the rim and missed a few open looks in overtime. He was 8-for-25 from the field and a brutal 1-of-4 from the free throw line in a game the Wizards could have won.
Lillard was especially great in overtime. He went on a 5-0 run to give the Blazers a 111-106 lead, and then, after a Wall three shrunk the lead to two, ended the game with a circus shot over Wall.
It wasn't all Lillard -- who had nine points in overtime -- for the Blazers. C.J. McCollum had 18 points and Ed Davis made a huge difference off the bench with nine points and 15 rebounds. Davis brought a toughness to the Blazers in overtime that helped them over the hump.
The Wizards, meanwhile, got a big game from Ramon Sessions, who had 21 points off the bench on 9-of-12 shooting in Bradley Beal's absence.
In the end, however, it came down to the point guard play. Lillard won the battle because Wall's weakness was on full display. He's never been a great shooter, but an 8-for-25 performance kept the Wizards from stealing one for the win column. They've lost three in a row and are 30-33. The Wizards are 2.5 games out of the playoffs.
The Blazers, on the other hand, picked up another win to distance themselves from the Houston Rockets and tie the Dallas Mavericks for the sixth seed in the West. Seizing that spot is important -- facing the Oklahoma City Thunder is a lot more enticing than taking on the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
With Lillard carrying a chip on his shoulder, don't ever count the Blazers out.
2 other things we learned
LaMarcus Aldridge is efficient and great for the Spurs
Yes, it was only a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, but Aldridge looked fantastic for the Spurs on Tuesday night. He had 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting plus seven rebounds and three blocks -- and that was only in the first half. Aldridge ended the night with 29 points on 11-of-13 shooting in only 29 minutes with seven rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Since the All-Star Game, Aldridge has turned into a more important player for the Spurs. In those nine games his minutes are up, and so are his points and rebounds. Tim Duncan is obviously the anchor of the Spurs, but Aldridge is starting to stake his place in the offense. When he's firing on all cylinders like he was against the Timberwolves, good luck stopping the Spurs.
The Utah Jazz don't want a playoff spot
The Jazz were 26-25. They looked ready to make the playoff jump, to grab the eighth spot in the West. Those dreams are quickly evaporating -- the Jazz have lost nine of 13 games and, at 29-34, have a long way to go if they want a postseason spot. They're now two games back of the Rockets for the No. 8 seed, but can't seem to play a complete game for the life of them. They jumped out to a 27-16 lead in the first quarter, but were outscored by 20 points in the second and third quarters. The Jazz dominated the glass with 15 offensive boards, but poor shooting kept them from keeping up with the Hawks. A nonexistent offense is killing Utah. In the last seven games, the Jazz have scored more than 100 points just one time -- they're 1-6 in that span. Fortunately for Utah, the Rockets aren't exactly playing inspired basketball. So there's still a chance, but it doesn't look good.
Play of the night
Do they give out in-game 50s? They should give out in-game 50s. Aaron Gordon is absurd.