Blazers’ Damian Lillard joins Michael Jordan, six other NBA legends with 50-point games in a winning playoff series
Portland Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard joined some elite company on Tuesday night following his awe-inspiring performance in Game 5 of his team’s first-round series matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
By scoring a playoff career-high 50 points on the evening, Lillard set himself up to be part of an elite class of NBA stars — which includes the great Michael Jordan — who have scored at least 50 points in a winning series.
⌚️ @Dame_Lillard joins Bob Cousy, Bob Pettit, Wilt Chamberlain, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley as the only players in @NBAHistory to record 50-PT games when their team clinched an #NBAPlayoffs series. #RipCity pic.twitter.com/oRdASKcb6Y
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) April 24, 2019
That’s pretty good company right there, and it is unquestionable that Lillard deserves every bit of praise he is getting after not only a Game 5 performance for the books, but more importantly, for leading his team to a 4-1 series victory against a feisty Thunder side.
Not only did Lillard score 50 points in the close-out game, but he also logged 10 three-pointers, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals, and a block, as he sent Russell Westbrook and company packing.
The 6-foot-3 Blazers guard has been nothing short of amazing throughout this first-round series, and despite all the back-and-forth going on between both squads, Lillard has let his game do all the talking. The 29-year-old averaged 33.0 points (on 46.1 percent shooting), 5.2 three-pointers, 4.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 2.4 steals, and 0.6 blocks in five games against Oklahoma City.
In case you somehow missed it, Lillard also won the game (and the series) on a 37-foot step-back three at the buzzer. He has chosen not to engage in all the trash talk, but as he sank his game-winner, Lillard could not help but send out a goodbye wave for the Thunder.
The Blazers and its supporters are in an awesome high right now, but they will need to come back to earth soon, with a second-round matchup with either the Denver Nuggets or the San Antonio Spurs on the horizon.