It took a mere than 60 points, and an extra five minutes, but Damian Lillard secured the win for the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Lillard dropped a career-high 61 points while leading the Trail Blazers to a 129-124 overtime win against the Golden State Warriors at the Moda Center, setting several notable records in the process. Not only was Lillard’s 61 points a personal best and a franchise best, but it also set the NBA’s Martin Luther King Day scoring record — passing Kemba Walker’s 52-point mark from 2016.
“You run out of adjectives to describe Damian,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said after the game, via AJ McCord of KOIN.
“He never quits, never thinks he’s out of a game, never thinks he’s out of a season.”
Lillard, after leading Portland out of a 12-point hole in the second half, tied the game up with a clutch step-back 3-pointer over Alec Burks with less than 15 seconds left, marking his 10th 3-pointer of the night.
The Warriors, though, opened the extra period on a 8-2 run to regain control of the game. Yet a quick 8-0 run of their own, which included a pair of 3-pointers from Lillard and Gary Trent Jr., gave Portland the lead once again with less than one minute to go. From there, the Blazers held on to grab the five-point win, which snapped a two-game win streak.
Lillard finished the night shooting 17-of-37 from the field and an impressive 11-of-20 from the 3-point line, adding 10 rebounds and seven assists in the process. He also became the first player in league history to drop 60 points with 10 3-pointers in a single game, according to ESPN.
“It was an opportunity to have a new career high and to make right for the one where I missed the free throws a couple years ago,” Lillard said on TNT after the game. “Just clinching the game, I felt like I had a great performance in a game that we needed to win, which is the most important thing.”
Center Hassan Whiteside finished with 17 points and 21 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, and Carmelo Anthony added 14 points. Burks led the Warriors with 33 points. D’Angelo Russell added 27 points, and Eric Paschall finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds. The loss marked the 11th for Golden State in its last 12 games.
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