Damian Lillard dropped 41 factors within the first half towards the Rockets on Sunday evening. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard went off on Sunday evening, and reached quite a few new milestones within the course of.
Lillard, after dropping 41 factors within the first half, notched a career-high 71 factors within the Portland Trail Blazers’ 131-114 win over the Houston Rockets. Lillard shot 22-of-38 from the sphere and made a franchise finest 13 3-pointers whereas taking part in simply 39 minutes.
“We’ve bought 23, 22 video games left after this, and we have to win as many as potential,” Lillard stated on the courtroom after the win. “Obviously being quick handed, I do know that it’s going to be a workforce effort, however I really feel like I gotta do my finest to be aggressive and simply attempt to do what I can to ensure that we get some wins. That’s all of the case was tonight. I wished to be in assault mode. I bought it going, and I simply stayed aggressive.”
Lillard’s accomplishments on Sunday evening have been prolonged. He now has 5 60-point video games in his profession, which trails solely Kobe Bryant’s six and Wilt Chamberlain’s 61. He now has the eighth-highest scoring recreation in league historical past, and, at 32, is the oldest participant in league historical past with a 70-point recreation. He can be the primary particular person in league historical past to drop no less than 70 factors in lower than 40 minutes.
Only Chamberlain, Bryant and David Thompson have scored extra factors in a single recreation than Lillard.
Lillard entered the locker room at halftime with 41 factors after draining eight 3-pointers within the first two quarters. He went 8-11 for 25 factors in simply 9 minutes within the second quarter alone. That made him simply the second participant in historical past to drop no less than 40 factors with eight 3-pointers, becoming a member of solely Bryant, who did so in 2003. It’s additionally tied with Kyrie Irving for the second-most scored in a single half prior to now 25 seasons, behind solely 42 factors from Bryant in 2003, per ESPN.
“Having 41 on the half is insane,” Portland coach Chauncey Billups stated, through reporter Sean Harkin. “And then within the second half, he made each proper play. Didn’t come out firing. He simply wasn’t forcing in any respect.”
Lillard bought to 50 factors by the top of the third quarter, although the Rockets minimize the result in 14 factors after trailing by as many as 23 within the interval. He pushed to 59 after an enormous and-one dunk over Jabari Smith Jr. halfway by way of the fourth quarter.
Then, after sinking a pair of free throws, Lillard formally broke his career-high mark with a step-back 3-pointer over Jae’Sean Tate, his twelfth of the evening.
It didn’t finish there. Lillard saved going, hitting one other 3-pointer and attending to 71 factors earlier than the evening was over. He saved attempting to succeed in Klay Thompson’s single-game 3-point file of 14, however appeared gassed within the remaining minute and couldn’t fairly get there.
In the top, Lillard nonetheless broke a franchise file for made threes in a recreation. He completed with six rebounds and 6 assists, and shot an ideal 14-of-14 from the free throw line.
Jerami Grant added 13 factors for Portland within the win, and Nassir Little put up 11 factors and 9 rebounds off the bench. They have been the one different two Trail Blazers gamers to hit double figures.
Alperen Sengun led Houston with 17 factors and 10 rebounds, and Tate added 17 factors of his personal within the loss. Tari Eason completed with 15 factors and 10 rebounds off the bench.
“It’s so nice due to the effectivity,” Billups stated, through 1080 The Fan’s Danny Marang. “Even when he had his profession excessive, he nonetheless didn’t drive [shots]. I assumed it was a bit of artwork … It was a masterful efficiency.”