In Sunday night’s 131-114 victory over the Houston Rockets by the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard was burning hot. Lillard scored 71 points in a single game to become the seventh player in NBA history to reach that mark.
Lillard made 22 of 38 field goals, including 13 of 22 long-range attempts. Both the 71 points and the 13-hit three-pointers were career highs. He also achieved the feat of having at least 70 points, five rebounds, and five assists in a game, becoming the fourth player to do so.
Damian Lillard career-high game was outstanding in the opening period. He scored 41 points on 19 attempts. After the victory, Portland moves into first place in the Western Conference standings, one game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers and one game behind the last play-in berths.
According to ESPN, Lillard, 32, also set a record for being the oldest to do it. The previous record for the Blazers’ franchise was 61 points. On two separate occasions, Lillard broke that record.
With his previous record being 11, Lillard’s 13 3-pointers versus Houston set both career and franchise highs. Only one 3-pointer separated Lillard from Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson’s all-time record of 14, which Thompson set.
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Damian Lillard is the eighth player in NBA history to score 70 or more points
Damian Lillard was the second player this season to score 70 or more points, as was already established. Just four players in history have ever had at least 70 points, five rebounds, and five assists. He is one of them. Moreover, he became the fourth NBA player to make 13 or more 3-pointers in a game.
Damian Lillard career-high is also the seventh player to accomplish the milestone in NBA history. At 100 points, Wilt Chamberlain continues to hold the record for the most points ever scored in a game. With six of them, Chamberlain also holds the league record for the most 70-point games ever played.
During his 81-point effort against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, Kobe Bryant came the closest to breaking Wilt’s scoring record. Elgin Baylor, David Robinson, and David Thompson are more Hall of Famers with 70-point performances.
Together with Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns are the only two active players who have scored 70 points. Mitchell just defeated the Chicago Bulls in overtime with 71 points. On March 24, 2017, Booker scored 70 points in a defeat against the Boston Celtics.
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