Damian Lillard Breaks Trail Blazers' Single-Season Record for 3-Pointers Made

Joe FlynnContributor IMarch 20, 2014

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, complains as he is called for a foul by referee Kevin Cutler during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards in Portland, Ore., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Don Ryan/Associated Press

Damian Lillard broke his own Portland Trail Blazers franchise record for three-point field goals in a single season during Thursday night's game against the Washington Wizards.

He set the mark by opening the second half with his third made three of the game and 186th on the season.

This is now the second time Lillard has set the team record in his two-year career. He broke Damon Stoudemire's 2004-05 mark of 181 made threes in the final game of the 2012-13 season.

But Lillard didn't need the full 82 games to top himself this year, thanks to a marked increase in three-point shooting efficiency. The 503 attempts Lillard needed in 2012-13 were also a Blazers franchise record. This season, he needed only 473.

According to Basketball-Reference, Lillard came into Thursday shooting 39.1 percent from behind the arc, much better than his 36.8 percent mark as a rookie.

The Blazers point guard trailed only two players in the league as of Thursday afternoon; both of whom play for the Golden State Warriors. Point guard Steph Curry led the league with 215 made triples, while shooting guard Klay Thompson had 185. The Warriors are also in action Thursday. 

The Blazers have needed Lillard to be at his best of late, as the team's leading scorer, power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has missed the past few games with a back injury. The second-year man has certainly proven himself capable of leading a squad, hitting clutch shots on seemingly a nightly basis and making his first career All-Star team.

But Lillard is more than just a scorer; B/R's Joshua J. Vannuccini believes that he has found a good balance between creating shots for himself and for others:

So while the point guard can absolutely dominate offensively and is just biding his time to do so, he's also mature and composed enough to understand what Portland needs from him. Lillard isn't looking to explode every night or take the glory for himself.

Truly, he has come a long way from playing college ball at tiny Weber State. Per MaxPreps.com's Mitch StephensLillard's high school coach, Orlando Watkins, knew the kid has always had that desire to prove people wrong:

He wanted to be an NBA player. And that gave him a chance. … He was built to want to be the best. Awards have never been important. But he always has played with a little chip like he wanted to be better than what most people thought.

After Thursday Portland has 13 more games left in the regular season. If Lillard keeps up his current pace of 2.7 made threes per game, he will add another 35 three-pointers to his record. Given the level of excellence achieved at such a young age, the Blazers' single-season three-point record will belong to him for quite a while.


* Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.