Take a bow, Damian Lillard.
While the Portland Trail Blazers weren't exactly playing the same version of the Golden State Warriors that knocked them out of the playoffs three of the last four years, the four-time All-Star put on an absolute show and led his team to a dramatic 129-124 overtime victory on Monday at Moda Center.
Lillard finished with 61 points, helping the Trail Blazers improve to 19-26 after a two-game losing streak.
As for the Warriors, they are an ugly 10-35 and have lost 11 of their last 12 games. They could have forced double overtime, but Jordan Poole's potential game-tying three rimmed out in the final seconds.
Notable Player Stats
- POR G Damian Lillard: 61 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 11-of-20 from three
- POR C Hassan Whiteside: 17 points, 21 rebounds, 6 blocks
- GSW G Alec Burks: 33 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds
- GSW G D'Angelo Russell: 27 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds
- GSW F Eric Paschall: 22 points, 13 rebounds
Dame Saves Trail Blazers in Incredible Fashion
Trail Blazers fans haven't had much to cheer for this season.
After all, long-term injuries to Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic, Rodney Hood and Skal Labissiere have left them on the outside of the playoff picture after the team reached last season's Western Conference Finals, and even CJ McCollum was sidelined for Monday's game.
Lillard made sure the home crowd had plenty to enjoy with one of the most memorable performances of the season.
Still, it appeared as if even his superhuman showing wouldn't be enough after Golden State built a double-digit lead in the first half. Lillard kept his team within striking distance with 21 points before the intermission, but it looked like more of the same for Portland against a squad playing without Draymond Green, Glenn Robinson III, Kevon Looney and Jacob Evans.
Given those absences—in addition to long-term injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson—it is not a stretch to suggest these Warriors are the worst team in the league.
Lillard surely sensed any squad looking to be viewed as a playoff threat couldn't lose to that group at home. He was essentially Portland's offense the rest of the way, whether he was scoring or swinging the ball when the visitors ran multiple defenders at him the moment he crossed half court.
He poured in 21 points in the third quarter alone, traded shots with D'Angelo Russell in the fourth quarter and forced overtime with a ridiculous step-back three in the waning seconds over Alec Burks' outstretched arm.
Even then, Golden State went up six in the extra period before Lillard tied it with a three and answered Burks' go-ahead three with two free throws to give Portland the lead for good.
The game came down to which side had Lillard, and he made sure the Trail Blazers didn't suffer what could have been their worst loss of the season.
The Warriors host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, while the Trail Blazers host the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.