PORTLAND, Ore. -- Damian Lillard couldnt believe when he got a clear look at the rim. With the final buzzer about to sound, he took his shot. "I got my feet squared up and it felt real good leaving my hands," Portlands point guard said. "Once I saw it on line, I said, Thats got a chance." Lillards shot fell and the Trail Blazers stunned the Houston Rockets 99-98 to take their playoff series in six games and advance to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in 14 years. In the frenzied postgame celebration, Lillard took the public address microphone and shouted "Rip City!" The hometown crowd roared. Portland, making its first playoff appearance since 2011, had been eliminated in the first round in its last six trips, and hadnt advanced to the second round since 2000. "Its a great feeling," said fellow guard Wesley Matthews. "Im excited for Portland, of course excited for us. The grind of the season: Youre a competitor, you want to win, you want to play, you want to advance, you want to be a champion. ... Its unbelievable." Dwight Howard made four consecutive free throws to tie the game at 91 before making a bank shot that put Houston ahead with 3:04 to go. Robin Lopez scored on a tip shot to give the Blazers a 94-93 lead with 2:15 left, setting up a wild finish. Howards layup and foul shot put the Rockets back up 96-94 before Nicolas Batums fadeaway jumper tied it again with 39.9 seconds left. Chandler Parsons scored on a reverse layup with 0.9 seconds left to give Houston the lead. Lillard prevented the series from going back to Houston with his 3-pointer as time ran out. He finished with 25 points. The Trail Blazers said Lillard is the first player to make a buzzer-beating shot to win a playoff series since John Stocktons 3 that led Utah over Houston in 1997s Western Conference finals, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. "He made a hell of a shot," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said of Lillard. Portland will face the winner of the series between San Antonio and Dallas. The Mavericks forced a deciding Game 7 with a 113-111 victory over the Spurs on Friday night. There are five first-round playoff series that have gone to seven games. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 30 points and 13 rebounds. He averaged 29.8 points during the series. After losing the opening two games in Houston, then claiming one of a pair in Portland, the Rockets staved off elimination with a 108-98 victory on Wednesday night to narrow Portlands advantage in the series to 3-2. Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Jeremy Lin redeemed himself from a poor performance in Game 4 with 21 points off the bench. James Harden led the Rockets on Friday night with 34 points. Howard had 26 points and 11 rebounds as Houston -- which earned the nickname "Clutch City" back in the mid-1990s when the team won back-to-back NBA championships -- failed to become the ninth team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven playoff series and advance. "It hurts," Howard said. "When you put everything youve got on the floor and somebody hits you with a dagger like that, its a tough pill to swallow." After Lillards 3, Howard went over to congratulate his friend and told him he was proud of him and to go win the title. Aldridge helped the Blazers steal the first two games in Houston, scoring 46 points in a 122-120 overtime Game 1 win, then 43 in a 112-105 victory. The Rockets claimed the first of two in Portland, 121-116 in overtime, led by Harden with 37 points. The series third OT game ended in a 123-120 Blazers win. Aldridge gave the Rockets credit for making the Blazers better. "We felt like they definitely helped us grow. Were so young in the playoffs, but they definitely helped us grow and we feel we should be better for the next round," Aldridge said. "Were happy now, but were not satisfied." NOTES: The Blazers honoured former coach Jack Ramsay, who led the team to its lone NBA championship in 1977, in a moving pregame ceremony. Ramsay died Monday after a long battle with cancer in Florida. ... A fan at the game held a sign reading: "Play like its 1977." ... Lillard has multiple 3-pointers in six straight playoff games, a franchise record. ... It was the first time that the Blazers had defeated Houston in the post-season after three previous meetings. Cheap Adidas Shoes For Sale .com) - Semyon Varlamov more than earned his third shutout of the season as he made a career-high 54 saves to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. Cheap Adidas Shoes Free Shipping . HABS HEADED TO CONFERENCE FINAL The Montreal Canadiens scored early in Game Seven, built a lead and protected it well on their way to a 3-1 series-clinching win over the Boston Bruins. While this game or series isnt necessarily a referendum on the value of fourth lines, the Canadiens certainly benefitted from production lower down their forward depth chart. http://www.cheapadidas.us/. His absence against the Celtics comes a day after he scored 43 points in the Heats 100-96 win at Cleveland. Cheap Adidas Shoes Wholesale . The closer wasnt available. The road trip, a disaster to that point. Adidas Shoes From China Wholesale . The 41-year-old Northern Irishman has proved a perfect fit at Liverpool since taking over from Kenny Dalglish in the summer of 2012 and steered the team to an unexpected title challenge in the Premier League last season.Auburn, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Cameron Artis-Payne ran for 129 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries as 16th-ranked Auburn posted a 31-7 win over Samford at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers overcame a sluggish start and eight penalties to pull away from the FCS-level Bulldogs and halt a two-game skid as they enter next Saturdays Iron Bowl showdown with No. 2 Alabama. Nick Marshall threw for 171 yards on 11-of-18 passing with one touchdown and an interception for Auburn (8-3), which also received rushing scores from Quan Bray and Roc Thomas. Michael Eubank completed 15-of-29 throws for 125 yards and one touchdown for Samford (7-4), but was intercepted twice during a second half in which the Bulldogs were held scoreless. The Tigers appeared to be looking ahead to next weeks rivalry game with the Crimson Tide early on, as Auburn mustered a paltry 36 yards of offense while being held scoreless over its first four drives. Those struggles enabled Samford to grab a 7-0 edge midway through the second quarter, with Eubank skillfully directing a 7-play, 74-yard series in which the Arizona State transfer completed all five of his throws and capped the trek with a 7-yard strike to Tony Philpot. The touchdown seemed to finally wake up the Tigers, as Marshall hit Sammie Coates deep for a 49-yard gain on the next snap from scrimmage. Two plays later, Bray took a jet sweep along the left side 23 yards to the end zone. Samford was then held without a first down on two straight possessions, and Auburn put up points on its next two to take a 17-7 lead into the half. Four straight running plays that totaled 39 yards had Auburn inside the Bulldogs 10-yard line, though Samford was able to limit the damage to a 29- yard Daniel Carlson field ggoal that sent the Tigers in front.dddddddddddd. A 40-yard connection from Marshall to Bray on Auburns subsequent drive had the Tigers at the Samford 16 with a minute to go in the second quarter. Shortly afterward, Artis-Payne bounced a shotgun handoff outside and followed his blocks for a 7-yard touchdown that extended the margin to 10 points. The Bulldogs had a chance to make it a one-score game after moving deep into Auburn territory on their initial drive of the second half, but Warren Handrahan misfired on a 34-yard field goal try to keep it a 17-7 differential. It was Samfords last good scoring opportunity of the night, as Auburns defense shut down Eubank and the Bulldogs attack the rest of the way and the Tigers increased their lead on the ensuing drive. Marshall hit on 3-of-4 attempts in engineering a 10-play, 80-yard sequence he kept alive with a 27-yard strike to Melvin Ray on third down, then later completed with a swing pass that Corey Grant took 13 yards into the end zone. Thomas accounted for Auburns final touchdown with a 1-yard run with 8:44 remaining, ending a 65-yard possession in which 11 of the 12 plays came on the ground. Game Notes The Tigers totaled 76 yards in penalties ... Samford is coached by Pat Sullivan, who won the 1971 Heisman Trophy as an Auburn quarterback ... Tigers wide receiver Dhaquille Williams sat out a second straight game with a knee injury ... The schools have faced one another 28 times but only four since World War II, with Auburn outscoring the Bulldogs by a 156-30 count in those games ... Samford fell to 2-75-3 all-time against current members of the Southeastern Conference, including an 0-27-1 mark versus Auburn. 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