Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard continues to crank out incredible performances, and the hits seem to keep coming. In this piece, we’ll take a look back at some of the best stat lines the Oakland, California native has racked up over the course of his career.
23 points and 11 assists vs. the Los Angeles Lakers in his NBA debut
For our first entry on this list, we’ll go all the way back to Lillard’s NBA debut. The Blazers were fortunate to land the Weber State product with the 6th overall pick, and this performance asserted that point.
It was October 31 of 2012 and the Blazers were playing against the Los Angeles Lakers. Incredibly, Lillard recorded 23 points and 11 assists in the game to join Oscar Robertson and Allen Iverson as the only players in NBA history with at least 20 points and 10 assists in their NBA debut.
Career-high 60 points on 19 made field goals (November 2019)
Though his team was ultimately defeated at home on this night, Lillard once again proved his supreme offensive prowess. At that time, the 60-point mark that he notched was a career-high. He was 19-of-33 from the field, 7-of-16 from 3-point range and made all 15 of his free throws.
“We tried zone, box-and-one, we tried blitz, we threw the kitchen sink at him,” former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said of Lillard, via ESPN. “He just kept making incredible shots.”
50 points and game-winner vs. Thunder in Game 5 (2019 Playoffs)
Damian Lillard is known as a clutch shooter, and this moniker held true against the Thunder in the first round of the 2019 Western Conference Playoffs.
Playing against a dynamic duo in Paul George and Russell Westbrook, Dame turned in 50 points on 17-of-33 shooting (10-of-18 from beyond the arc), seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block. And just for the record, he had 34 points in the first half alone, which was more than George and Westbrook combined in that same span (32).
As a testament to his clutch mentality, Lillard calmly buried a 37-footer at the buzzer over George to send Oklahoma City home in five games. Following his big shot, Dame waved goodbye to the crowd.
61 points in a Blazers win over the Dallas Mavericks
This entry of Lillard’s great performances came more recently. As part of a 134-131 victory over the Mavs on Tuesday night, he scored 61 points on 17-of-32 shooting from the field while going 9-of-17 from downtown and 18-of-18 from the free-throw line. He also had eight assists, five rebounds and one steal.
With the win, Portland moved into the eighth and final seed in what has become a heated race for the Western Conference Playoffs. Remarkably, It was his third 60-point game of the season, and his sixth 50-point game of the campaign.
Lillard became just the second player in NBA history to log three 60-point games in a single season. Who is the other guy, you ask? Wilt Chamberlain.
“Ain’t nothing I want more,” Lillard said of the playoffs, via ESPN. “When I came here (to Disney World) I told them I’m not here to waste my time. Our work ain’t done yet but we’re fighting for it.”
Damian Lillard joined James Harden and Kobe Bryant in NBA history
Some players can get hot, but their flames often burn out fast. Lillard, however, seared his opponents for six straight games earlier this season, averaging a whopping 48.8 points over that stretch.
In that same span, Lillard knocked down 49 3-pointers, which is the most of any six-game stretch in NBA history. He was hot, sure. However, he was also a willing passer. In fact, he averaged 10.2 assists, which made him the first player in league history to average at least 45 points and 10 assists over six games.
Harden over those 6 games: .457 FG%, .323 3%
Dame in these 6 games: .548 FG%, .570 3%
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 2, 2020
.@Dame_Lillard is the FIRST PLAYER in NBA history to average 45 points and 10 assists over a 6-game span.
Watch his best play from each of those 6 games! pic.twitter.com/3Pz2dWPMQL
— NBA (@NBA) February 2, 2020
“I’ve never been in this type of rhythm in my life,” Lillard said of his torrid stretch of production, via NBA.com.
As a five-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year, Lillard has already established himself as one of the best point guards the league has ever known. Some critics point to the fact that he hasn’t won a championship, but he is — without a doubt — an all-time great. Let’s see what sort of numbers he racks up in the future. And, perhaps, he’ll lift that trophy one day.