Lillard Scores 50, Blazers Top Pacers as NBA Mourns Death of Kobe Bryant

Emotions were heavy. Minds were elsewhere. A basketball game still needed playing.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers were the last game in the NBA on Sunday night. So, it almost seemed fitting that on the day the world lost Kobe Bryant, Damian Lillard capped off an insane week of offensive dominance with one more outburst.

Before we get to that, however, the Blazers and Pacers both paid their respects to Bryant.

Portland won the opening tip, and Lillard proceeded to dribble out the 24-second shot clock. The Pacers then took an 8-second backcourt violation. Bryant wore both No. 8 and No. 24 in his 20 years with the Lakers.

Portland’s star point guard shined bright on Sunday night with a 50-point performance that was only made more impressive when you delved into the numbers.

Lillard became the fifth player in NBA history to score 50 while attempting 23 or fewer shots. He finished 14/23 overall (60.9 percent), while hitting 8/12 from three (66.7 percent).

But of course, the game was about way more than Lillard’s scoring night. The NBA, and the world, lost Kobe Bryant.

If you missed the news, the Los Angeles Lakers legend was killed along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.

Blazer players, CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony, spoke about Bryant post game.

Trevor Ariza, recently acquired from Sacramento, played with Bryant for part of 2007-08, and he won a championship with Bryant and LA in 2009. Understandably, Ariza requested to not be interviewed after the game, according to The Athletic’s Jason Quick.

Before his offensive dismantling of the Pacers, Lillard spoke about Bryant and Bryant’s legacy.

Lillard also spoke about Bryant postgame.

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