Damian Lillard's Range Is 'Changing the Game,' Says Nets HC Jacque Vaughn

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 14, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard, left, goes up with the ball against Brooklyn Nets' Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Some highlights defy logical explanation, and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard provided one Thursday with this shot from the center court logo as if it was a pull-up, mid-range jumper against the Brooklyn Nets:

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn recognized Lillard's long-range expertise and offered him a strong compliment in his postgame chat with reporters:

The Nets threw everything but the kitchen sink at Lillard while trying to defend him, but he still went 8-of-14 from three-point range en route to scoring 42 points and dropping 12 assists in the Blazers' 134-133 win over the Nets, which kept Portland's playoff hopes alive.

A few shots from well beyond the arc were included in his final total, including this three from the midpoint between the center court logo and three-point line:

Lillard averaged 37.6 points during his team's eight seeding games, which saw Portland go 6-2 and assume the eighth spot in the Western Conference.

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The job isn't done for Portland yet, though, as the Blazers must win a game against the Memphis Grizzlies in a play-in tournament beginning Saturday.

A win sends Portland to the playoffs versus the Los Angeles Lakers, but a loss creates a winner-take-all battle for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot Sunday.