PORTLAND, Ore. — No offense to the Utah Jazz, however Damian Lillard stated scoring 60 factors towards them was pretty easy. Not simple, simply easy.
Lillard had a season-high 60 factors, hitting 9 3-pointers, and the Portland Path Blazers beat the Jazz 134-124 on Wednesday night time.
Lillard tied for the second-most factors within the NBA this season. Donovan Mitchell had 71 in an time beyond regulation sport for Cleveland towards Chicago on Jan. 3, and Luka Doncic scored 60 in Dallas’ OT victory over New York on Dec. 27.
“I feel any time you rating 60 factors it’s particular, however I feel this one I simply felt prefer it got here fairly easy,” Lillard stated. “I assumed I performed the sport because it ought to’ve been performed. I knew we wanted to win so I got here out with a mentality to assault and be aggressive, however it wasn’t like I simply got here out on hearth. It wasn’t a type of video games.”
Jerami Grant added 19 factors to assist Portland win its second straight sport.
Lauri Markkanen led the Jazz with 24 factors. He had a layup adopted by a tip shot with 5:20 left that bought Utah to 115-108.
Grant and Anfernee Simons had back-to-back dunks to place Portland up 121-110 and the Blazers led comfortably the remainder of the way in which.
When Lillard got here to the free-throw line late within the sport, the house crowd stood and chanted “MVP! “MVP!” Lillard hit each free throws to succeed in 60, however missed a jumper from distance with 29.1 seconds left that may have topped his profession finest 61.
He wasn’t even conscious he was close to his profession excessive till Blazers coach Chauncey Billups let him know after these free throws. Lillard thought he was popping out.
“Subsequent time I got here down they double-teamed me and I simply rose up for 3 actual fast after which they got here down and scored,” Lillard stated. “There was nonetheless time on the clock, however I wasn’t going to be that thirsty to come back again down with that a lot time within the sport simply to get a profession excessive.”
Lillard has 4 profession video games of 60 factors or extra. He’s reached 61 twice.
Jazz coach Will Harvey was requested what Utah may have performed to cease Lillard after double-teaming him for a lot of the sport.
“I assume in principle we may have despatched three folks at him,” Harvey quipped.
After struggling for a lot of January, the Blazers have been coming off a morale-boosting 147-127 victory over San Antonio on Monday.
Lillard completed 21 of 29 from the sphere, 9 of 15 on 3s and 9 of 10 on the line. He additionally had eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
In the course of the third quarter Lillard scored 20 straight Portland factors.
“You simply sort of sit again and simply get pleasure from it,” Blazers teammate Nassir Little stated about watching Lillard attain 60. “Marvel at his greatness.”
Lillard is amongst simply 5 NBA gamers with 4 or extra 60-point video games. Wilt Chamberlain leads the checklist with 32, adopted by Kobe Bryant with six. Lillard, James Harden and Michael Jordan all have 4.
“I ain’t catching Wilt,” Lillard laughed.