Anthony Davis’s 59-point, 20-rebound destruction of the Pistons may have been the best single-game performance of the NBA season, but I say the weekend belonged to Damian Lillard.
Lillard’s two-day rampage started on Friday, when he swept the Warriors away with 51 points in just over 31 minutes of playing time. It was the perfect Lillard Game, in that the guy who is the league’s closest approximation to Steph Curry actually outdid Curry, hitting nine threes and overwhelming the Dubs with the kind of shot-making that can leave you slackjawed. When he ran up the score with a 9-0 solo run in the last minute, he looked downright angry. He stayed that way after the game was over:
Lillard sent those tweets just a few hours before Sunday’s game against the Jazz started. With under nine minutes to play in the third quarter of that game, Lillard had just nine points and was shooting 3-of-9 from the field. The Blazers were down 62-49, and then Lillard did that thing he does:
He went on a 12-0 run all by his damn self, and the Blazers were suddenly in business. Lillard didn’t look back, finishing the game with 31 points and scoring two crucial, go-ahead layups in the final minute:
Add up Lillard’s weekend and you get: 81 points, 13 threes, a game-winning layup, a 9-0 solo run, a 12-0 solo run, a blowout win over one of the best teams in history, some sassy tweets, and a fifth-straight win for a Blazers team that was supposed to be garbage this year but is now fighting to hang onto its playoff spot. Lillard is playing like a man who has no intention of letting them lose it, and that’s bad news for the rest of the league. Portland’s next game is against the Nets tomorrow; the Nets might want to consider not showing up.