Damian Lillard further put his name in the NBA record books Sunday night when he became the eighth player in league history to score 70 or more points in a game when he scored 71 against Houston in a 131-114 Blazer scored a home win.
Lillard was tough early on and never backed down against the young Rockets. He amassed an incredible 41 points in the first half, setting a new career high in 24 minutes and hitting eight three-pointers in the first two quarters.
The highlight of the first half came in that eighth three, when he pulled up from 39 feet and found nothing but a net.
He added nine points in the third quarter to go 50 points by the final frame, but Houston hung around, which turned out to be a gift to all of us. There, Lillard painted his masterpiece in the fourth quarter and helped keep Houston within reach as he buried bucket after bucket, starting on his 10th three-pointer of the game just after checking back in.
He would later knock down his 11th three-pointer of the game and the most surprising highlight of his night, an and-1 dunk that sent the Moda Center crowd going insane.
Two more threes took him to 69 points – with a few free throws in between – as he surpassed his old career high of 61.
After all, with a swimmer in the paint he would break the 70-point mark for the first time.
Lillard’s final stat line was 71 points on 22 of 38 shots, 13 of 22 from three-point range, with 6 rebounds and 6 assists, and the Rockets cut the lead to fourth, the Blazers needed most of those before he eventually walked away with a comfortable win. He’s now third on the NBA’s all-time list for 60-point games in a career with five, behind Kobe Bryant (6) and Wilt Chamberlain (32, lol).
It was an incredible night that Blazers fans will long remember as one of the era’s greatest scorers penned the best game of his career to date.
https://uproxx.com/dimemag/damian-lillard-71-points-rockets-blazers-highlights-video/ Damian Lillard scores 71 points against Rockets