Lillard Goes for 50, Scores 15 of Final 25 Trail Blazer Points as Portland Squeaks Out Win
The game started out with an exciting return for the Trail Blazers, and it ended with an improbable win over New Orleans.
CJ McCollum made his first appearance in a game since Jan. 16. He only played 26 minutes, but McCollum still contributed 10 points. Obviously, this was the exciting moment.
Damian Lillard provided the fireworks late in the game as Portland trailed big headed into the final minutes.
Down 17 with 5:56 to go, it was time to check your watch. The Trail Blazers went on a 16-0 run to cut the lead to one, and they finished the game on a 25-7 run overall to win, 125-124. Lillard scored or assisted on 18 of those 25 points.
He was also in rare form in terms of efficiency. He shot 7-of-7 on two-point shots, 6-of-13 from deep (13-of-20 overall) and 18-of-18 from the free throw line.
Damian Lillard is the first player in our database to shoot 100% on 2s and 100% on FTs in a 50+ point game pic.twitter.com/kkLpohWnrT
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) March 17, 2021
Damian Lillard had his 3rd 50-pt, 10-ast game of his career, matching Tiny Archibald and Russell Westbrook for 2nd-most all-time.
He also only needed 20 FGA to score 50 pts. It’s the 3rd-fewest FGA in a 50-point game in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) h/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/58qFJTEwxT
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 17, 2021
At the top, we called it an improbable win. Well, here’s why.
From @ESPNStatsInfo: Entering tonight, teams were 236-0 when leading by 17+ points within the final 6 minutes of the game this season.
Pelicans led by 17 with 5:56 to go.
Portland wins, 125-124.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) March 17, 2021
Also, if you want to see the ridiculousness for yourself, check out the highlights.
We Earned that one. @McDonalds Game Highlights 🎥 pic.twitter.com/amzKvujbwN
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 17, 2021
The Pelicans will look to exact their revenge immediately as the two teams face off again on Thursday night (7 p.m. PT tip-off).