Damian Lillard’s All-Time Playoff Performance Goes to Waste as Blazers Lose to Nuggets in 2OT

Denver knocked off Portland 147-140 despite Lillard dropping 55 points with 12 triples

Damian Lillard puts up a shot
Damian Lillard puts up a shot against Austin Rivers.
Matthew Stockman/Getty

After forcing overtime with a 3-pointer when he went more or less uncovered by Michael Porter Jr. of the Nuggets at the end of regulation, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers had a shot to send Game 5 of his team’s series against Denver to double overtime.

He didn’t miss.

Unfortunately for Lillard, his postseason heroics were all for naught as Portland wasted a night that saw the star guard erupt for 55 points and an NBA playoff-record 12 3-pointers in a 147-140 double-overtime loss in Denver on Tuesday night.

Lillard, who broke the record of 11 triples set by the Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson in 2016 in Game 6 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, shot 17-of-24 from the field (including 12-of-17 from 3-point range) and also had 10 assists, six rebounds, three blocks and a steal, making him the first player in history to record at least 50 points, 10 assists and 10 made 3-pointers in a single game, regular season or postseason, per ESPN Stats and Info. (He’s also the only player in history to put up at least 55 points and 10 assists in a loss, regular season or playoffs.) Perhaps even more impressive was Lillard’s single (as in one) turnover in 52 minutes on the court.

Lillard scored or assisted on 80 of Portland’s points, tied for the most ever in NBA playoff history, and scored or assisted on 37 of the Blazers’ final 42 points. While Portland’s other four starters all scored in double figures, it was Dame Time, all the time on Tuesday. And it wasn’t enough.

“It was the best playoff performance I’ve ever seen,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “He gave it his all. I have empathy for Dame. I have empathy for anybody on our team. But now’s not the time for empathy. Now’s the time to regroup and come back and get Game 6.”

Portland will host Game 6 on Thursday night.

“If I don’t put it behind me, and hold onto it, it’s going to get in the way of what we need to do in the next one,” Lillard said. “At this point, all that matters is we can’t lose another game in the series. It was a tough loss, man. It’s do or die now. We gotta win both of the next two games if we want our season to continue. It’s as simple as that.”

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