NBA Playoffs 2019: Blazers' Damian Lillard scores 50 points, sinks buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win series over Thunder
Lillard turned in a heroic performance to propel his team to the second round of the playoffs
Damian Lillard has done it again.
For the second time in his career, the Portland Trail Blazers' All-Star point guard hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win a playoff series. In Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, the score was tied 115-115 with the seconds winding down. Lillard controlled the ball up top, waiting until the last second to make sure he either won the game for his team, or it went to overtime.
As it turned out, he went with option A. Instead of trying to drive inside, Lillard stepped back for a 37-foot bomb that nestled into the net right as the buzzer sounded. The shot not only gave the Blazers a 118-115 win to seal the series, 4-1, but it also gave Lillard 50 points on the night.
Lillard's game-winner came after a historic first half for the Blazers' leader. After C.J. McCollum picked up three fouls early in the game, Lillard was forced to carry the team, and put together a superb effort. He played all 24 minutes of the first half, and knocked down 12 of his 18 shot attempts en route to a thrilling 34 points. He was raining down deep 3-pointers, slashing through the lane for acrobatic layups and just generally putting on a show.
And not only did he score more than half of his team's points in the first half, but Lillard set all sorts of records as well. His 34 first-half points were a Trail Blazers record for one half in a playoff game, and he also became Portland's all-time leader in made playoff 3-pointers.
Additionally, his 34 points were the most by any player in one half in the postseason since Steve Nash in 2005, and he was just five points shy of the NBA record for points in a half in the postseason, which was set by Eric "Sleepy" Floyd in 1987.
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