NBA: Lillard signs 71 points and 13 triples for the Blazers, the eighth best performance in NBA history | Sports | The USA Print

Damian Lillard, with the ball, this Sunday in the game of the Portland Trail Blazers against the Houston Rockets in Portland.Steve Dykes (AP)

Damian Lillard has signed 71 points and 13 triples in 39 minutes this Sunday, the eighth best performance in NBA history, in the victory by 131-114 of the Portland Trail Blazers at home against the Houston Rockets. Lillard, who won the All-Star 3-point contest last week, lit up Portland’s night with a monumental performance that equals the mark achieved by Donovan Mitchell earlier this year in a Cleveland Cavaliers game against the Chicago Bulls.

The Blazers leader finished 22 of 38 shooting and, with his 13 of 22 three-point shooting, fell just one three-pointer short of Klay Thompson’s record (14). He now shares second place in this specialty, in an NBA game, with Steph Curry and Zach LaVine. He had 41 points at halftime, after signing 16 in the first quarter and 25 in the second, and continued his monologue at the restart with nine points in the third period and 21 in the fourth.

Lillard has signed his fifth game with more than 60 points and has improved the best mark of his career, which was 61 (against the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors in 2020). He scored triples from all areas of the field and also excelled with some spectacular penetrations. In one of them, he capped off the play with a magnificent one-handed dunk.

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The 32-year-old point guard led the victory of the Blazers who are eleventh in the West (29-31) and are fighting the Minnesota Timberwolves (31-32) for a place in the play-in. “There are 22 or 23 games left for the end of the season and we have to give it our all to get as many victories as possible,” Lillard said after the game. “I wanted to be aggressive and I played in ‘attack mode,’” added the Blazers leader.

His 71 points match the eighth-best personal performance in NBA history, though only three players outperformed him. The absolute record belongs to Wilt Chamberlain (100 points), who also scored 78, three times 73 and once 72 in his extraordinary career. The second position is occupied by Kobe Bryant (81 points), while David Thompson, active in the 1970s and 1980s with the Denver Nuggets and Seattle Super Sonics, is fourth (73).

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