What a game by Damian Lillard!
The Portland Trail Blazers superstar followed up his 51-point outing from a couple of days ago with a career-high 61 points. The performance helped the Trail Blazers register a crucial 134-131 win over the Dallas Mavericks, a victory that helped them become sole owners of the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
In a competitive game that saw 10 lead changes and 14 ties, Lillard delivered for his team when it mattered the most. He scored or assisted on 30 of Portland's 36 fourth-quarter points, including this 3-pointer that swished in after bouncing about 15 feet above the rim:
THIS DAME GUY IS PRETTY GOOD HUH pic.twitter.com/z2YeDGENNj- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) August 12, 2020
"I think that was my cousin, rest in peace Chef B," Lillard said postgame about that shot. "I think that was him dropping that one in for me."
Finishing with 61 points, eight assists and five rebounds while shooting a perfect 18-of-18 from the free-throw line in 41 minutes, the All-Star guard became the first player in franchise history and 12th in NBA history to register back-to-back 50-point games. He also rose to eighth all-time for most career 50-point games with 11.
With this performance, Lillard became the sixth player in NBA history to have at least three games of 60 or more. With all of his 60-point games coming this season, Lillard became only the second player in NBA history to do so.
Only two NBA players have ever scored 60 points three times in one season:- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 12, 2020
➖ Damian Lillard
➖ Wilt Chamberlain pic.twitter.com/5hAEHYkjre
Despite the heroics, this game was still in the balance if not for a pair of clutch free-throws by CJ McCollum, who struggled with his shot in this game (8 points, 2-14 FGs).
"I think one thing that is part of our relationship, something that makes us have so much belief in each other, is he knows that I have unwavering confidence and I know the same thing about him," Lillard said postgame when asked if he said anything to McCollum before those pair of free-throws, given his struggles from the field.
With McCollum's rough shooting night, Carmelo Anthony stepped up. The 17-year veteran finished with 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting - his third straight 20-point game while shooting better than 46% from the field and the second-most by a Blazers in this game.
For the Mavericks, who didn't rest any key rotation players, six players scored in double digits. Kristaps Porzingis led the way with 36 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 24 while Luka Doncic nearly recorded a 26-point triple-double (10 rebounds, eight assists).
All of those performances went in vain, courtesy of the show Lillard put on, one that had former and current NBA players talking on Twitter.
Man @Dame_Lillard is DIFFERENT!!!- DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 12, 2020
dame man....- Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin23) August 12, 2020
Dame is on another level man...sheesh!!!!- Kevin Love (@kevinlove) August 12, 2020
Yo @Dame_Lillard is willing these shots in. He's really on a diff level 💯- Zach LaVine (@ZachLaVine) August 12, 2020
Bro he made that😳😳- Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 12, 2020
my lord 😳- Ja Morant (@JaMorant) August 12, 2020
Wtf- kuz (@kylekuzma) August 12, 2020
Dame going crazy- TJ Warren (@TonyWarrenJr) August 12, 2020
Dame gotta be living right after that make lol- Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) August 12, 2020
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