It's no secret that Damian Lillard and certain members of the Los Angeles Clippers weren't exactly best friends as the NBA finished its 2019-20 season at the Walt Disney World Resort bubble, but L.A. head coach Tyronn Lue doesn't think the Portland Trail Blazers star was looking for revenge during Wednesday's game.
"We know he can score 50 points on any given night," Lue told reporters after the Clippers' 128-105 win. "We tried to set the tone by blitzing early... and trying to keep him off balance."
Lillard finished with 20 points, but only because of his ability to get to the free-throw line.
He was an ugly 3-of-14 from the field and 0-of-8 from three-point range as Los Angeles swarmed him on the perimeter and cut off his driving lanes. Patrick Beverley picked him up well beyond the three-point line throughout the game, and Lillard never found his touch.
Throw in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combining for 51 points on the other side, and the Trail Blazers didn't have much of a chance.
As for what could have been motivating Lillard, he missed two important free throws at the end of a seeding game in the bubble while facing the Clippers. Beverley yelled some trash talk from the bench, while George waved goodbye to him.
The wave was notable because that is exactly what Lillard did to George's Oklahoma City Thunder when he eliminated them from the 2019 NBA playoffs with a buzzer-beater.
The beef went to social media with Lillard calling them "chumps" and criticizing them for switching teams and "running from the grind." Lillard and CJ McCollum also went after the Clippers on social media when L.A. blew a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs with the former inviting Beverley on vacation:
To hear Lue say it, the bad blood apparently wasn't a factor in Wednesday's game. Still, the Clippers surely enjoyed the victory.