Damian Lillard, Ryan Anderson, Greivis Vasquez, Luke Babbitt

Damian Lillard hits the game-winner to send Blazers past Hornets (VIDEO)


This was not an easy shot.

Blazers rookie Damian Lillard continued his impressive start to the season, this time draining the game-winning shot from beyond three-point distance to give his team the 95-94 home victory over the Hornets.

It would have been a shame for Portland to waste its win against the Spurs on Thursday by giving one away against New Orleans, but after seeing a 12-point fourth quarter lead disappear entirely, that was a very real possibility.

It was all tied at 92 with 4.2 seconds remaining, with the Blazers taking the ball out of bounds. Lillard inbounded to Luke Babbitt, who handed it back to Lillard behind the three-point arc as the clock began to wind down.

Lillard used Babbitt’s screen, but Ryan Anderson stepped out to contest, yet somehow Lillard was able to get a sight line to the basket, before launching the shot attempt over Anderson that looked good as soon as it left his hands.

This wasn’t one of Lillard’s better games, as he finished with just 16 points on 5-of-14 shooting, while Anderson led all scorers with 26 points. But the rookie won out on the night’s final meaningful play, and it resulted in the third straight win for the Blazers.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.