Lillard strains calf, exits early for Trail Blazers

Sports

PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard left the Portland Trail Blazers‘ 119-98 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night because of a strained right calf.

Lillard, a six-time All-Star, came up limping with just over five minutes to go in the third quarter and headed straight for the locker room. He did not return.

Speaking after the game, Lillard said the calf felt a little tight before tipoff and the tightness didn’t go away in the first half, leading him to put some compression on it at halftime. He said when he rose up for a shot in the third quarter, it tightened up more, leading to his exit.

“It wasn’t nothing that I was overly conecrend with,” he told reporters. “I just know that it wouldn’t make sense to try and push through it in the fifth game of the season.”

Lillard said he didn’t have an MRI or any additional tests.

“Honestly if this was a playoff game, I would have played,” he said. “It would have been tight and uncomfortable, but I would have played. If that gives you any indication of how concerned I am now or would have been.”

Lillard had 22 points, including four 3-pointers, before he was injured. Her scored 30-plus points in three of the Blazers’ first four games this season.

Wednesday was the team’s first loss of the season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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