ORLANDO, Fla. - Damian Lillard scored 41 points, including eight from the free-throw line in the final three minutes, as the Portland Trail Blazers beat Orlando 122-119 Sunday night.
Lillard made just four of 16 shots from behind the three-point line, bur was 17 of 20 from the foul line in the win. Lillard also had nine rebounds and six assists.
Jerami Grant added 20 and Cam Reddish hit for 16 points to support Lillard, who was 10-of-25 overall from the field.
The Blazers (30-34) play again today, at Detroit (15-49). Portland is a half-game out of a playoff spot, and just one game from ninth in the Western Conference standings.
DAME GOES OFF FOR 71
Fresh off a swowstorm-inspired uncharted hit single, Damian Lillard went off on Sunday night and reached a personal milestone in the process.
Lillard notched a career-high 71 points in the Portland Trail Blazers’ 131-114 win over the Houston Rockets at the Moda Center.
Lillard shot 22-of-38 from the field and made a franchise best 13 3-pointers while playing 39 minutes.
Lillard’s accomplishments Sunday night were lengthy. He now has five 60-point games in his career, which trails only Kobe Bryant’s six and Wilt Chamberlain’s 61.
He has the eighth-highest scoring game in league history, and, at 32, is the oldest player in league history with a 70-point game. He is also the first person in league history to score at least 70 points in less than 40 minutes.
Only Chamberlain, Bryant and David Thompson have scored more points in a single game than Lillard.
The performance was just four days after the Blazers were stuck on the runway at Portland International Airport while on the way to a game in Sacramento, Calif., and eventually did not leave until Thursday. On the plane, Lillard recorded a rap video that went viral.
Lillard entered the locker room at halftime with 41 points after draining eight 3-pointers in the first two quarters. He went 8-of-11 for 25 points in nine minutes in the second quarter alone. That made him just the second player in history to drop at least 40 points with eight 3-pointers, joining only Bryant, who did so in 2003. It’s also tied with Kyrie Irving for the second-most scored in one half in the past 25 seasons, behind only 42 points from Bryant in 2003, per ESPN.
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