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Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard left Thursday’s 111-88 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the third quarter because of a dislocated left index finger.

X-rays on Lillard’s finger were negative, the team announced. Lillard, who scored 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting in 30 minutes, did not return to the game.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts said after the game that it’s too early to know Lillard’s status for Saturday’s Game 3 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

When Lillard was asked about his status for Game 3, he responded, “Oh, I’m playing.”

Lillard appeared to injure his hand while reaching on defense during a drive to the basket by Lakers star Anthony Davis. Lillard was shaking his head and appeared frustrated as he left the sideline while being attended to by his team’s athletic training and medical staff.

“It’s just sore. A little bit tender to the touch,” Lillard said postgame.

He said he had never dislocated a finger before and that he wasn’t sure how it happened but that he felt it right away. He said he didn’t want to look at the finger, but when he did, he started trying to pull it back into place.

“[The staff] had to put it back for me, and at that point, I thought it was broken,” Lillard said. “I was just frustrated because I had to go back and get it looked at. I was just frustrated. It was just bad timing. I handle the ball a lot, so just knowing there’s going to be some discomfort, I don’t know how that’s going to feel or how that’s going to go. It’s frustrating. That’s all it was.”

Portland’s loss tied the best-of-seven series 1-1.

Lillard entered the game having carried his team through the seeding round and into the first-round series against the Lakers, the Western Conference’s top seed. He was averaging 36.6 points through 10 games in the Florida bubble, the most of any player there, and was unanimously voted the MVP of the bubble in recent days.

Lillard scored 34 points in the Trail Blazers’ Game 1 win over the Lakers on Tuesday.

Asked whether the Blazers were due for a bad game, Lillard said, “I wouldn’t say we were due.”

“I do think that the game balances itself out,” he said. “Some guys come out and have a huge night and then the next night they can be cooled off. Some teams play really well for stretches and then they have that game where they cool off. I think we’ve played really well offensively since we’ve been here. I wouldn’t say we were due, but it happens. Sometimes you have a tough night on that end of the floor. Tonight, we had a tough night on the offensive end of the floor.”

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29707680/blazers-damian-lillard-dislocates-left-index-finger-x-rays-negative

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