The Portland Trail Blazers faced one of their toughest tasks yet. They had to beat the Phoenix Suns to secure avoiding the play-in tournament scenario, as they don't have that much of a lead over the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers.
The Suns, as expected, were in playoff mode already. They were coming off a couple of tough losses vs. teams they should have beaten, so it's not like they were going to just hand the Blazers an easy win, even though they were already in the playoffs.
Then, Damian Lillard took matters into his own hands and nearly pulled off a miracle comeback, coming up huge in the clutch - as per usual - and putting the Suns with their backs against the wall.
Sadly for the Blazers, their comeback attempt was cut short due to a controversial - to say the least - call on Norman Powell that sent Devin Booker to the free-throw line to ice the game.
Eventually, the Suns held their ground with an exciting 118-117 win, meaning that the Blazers will now have to do or die vs. the Denver Nuggets on their final game of the regular season to avoid the play-in tournament (unless the Lakers lose to the Indiana Pacers).
Needless to say, that controversial call prompted several reactions on social media. As a matter of fact, even Damian Lillard chimed in on Twitter, replying to a fan and letting everybody know that he didn't agree with the official's decision.
At the end of the day, the good part is that the Blazers are still in control of their destiny. They're peaking at the right time and, now that they're at full strength, have proven to be a tough and competitive squad that could beat every single team in the league in a seven-game series.