Chris Paul, Damian Lillard comment on heated exchange towards final buzzer
It is an unwritten rule in the NBA that if one team is up big and it has possession in the final seconds of a game, the proper course of action is to hold the ball and let the time expire. However, Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul chose not to abide by this rule after scoring a season-high 37 points thanks to an easy layup with 12.8 seconds left in the game — much to the dismay of Portland Trail Blazer star Damian Lillard.
Needless to say, Lillard took exception to Paul’s unnecessary bucket with time running out. He addressed the spat following the Blazers’ 121-112 loss to the Rockets on Wednesday night, according to NBC Sports Northwest‘s Jason Quick.
“First of all, we lost the game fair and square. It wasn’t a play that impacted us winning or losing, so I wasn’t salty about that,” Lillard said. “They won the game, they did more things than we did … but as far as sportsmanship goes, and you know, respect … if the roles were reversed, I don’t think they would like it.”
Lillard even transcribed the conversation between him and Paul in the closing seconds after the score.
Lillard said he asked Chris Paul “what is that going to get for you?” and he said Paul retorted by saying “you all weren’t guarding.”
While it may have been a bit unsportsmanlike, the layup was the cherry on top of an impressive night for the Rockets’ undisputed go-to-guy for the time being. Aside from his tremendous scoring output, the nine-time All-Star also recorded 11 assists, seven rebounds, and three steals.
Unfortunately, Chris Paul may have also walked away having dealt some serious damage to his friendship with Damian Lillard that not even State Farm will be able to fix.