Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard off to Historic Start in Playoff Career

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Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard off to Historic Start in Playoff Career
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

ESPN Stats & Info indicates that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has joined Michael Jordan (1985-86) and LeBron James (2006) as the only players in the last 35 years to average at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists over their first five career playoff games.

Lillard is averaging 25.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists through the first five games of the Trail Blazers' opening-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets, which Portland leads 3-2 heading into Friday's Game 6 in Rip City.

Lillard, who is in his second season with Portland, had 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists in Game 1, his first career postseason game.

Jordan averaged 33.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game over his first five playoff contests for the Chicago Bulls, which were split between the 1985 (four games) and 1986 (one game) postseasons.

MJ reached the playoffs in his rookie year, scoring 23 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out 10 assists in his first postseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks, who eventually beat the Bulls 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

James accomplished the 25-5-5 start during the 2006 playoffs, when he averaged 36.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his first five games for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who eventually lost to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference semifinals in seven games.

That year was James' third with the Cavaliers, and he put up a dominant triple-double in his playoff debut against the Washington Wizards, scoring 31 points while adding 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

More importantly, James did what Jordan couldn't, leading his team out of the opening round in his first playoff appearance.

With Game 6 to come in front of the raucous Rip City faithful, Lillard has a good chance to join James in that regard.

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