Portland Trail Blazers: Four forgotten moments that led up to Damian Lillard’s legendary shot

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

1. Lillard actually showed us almost the same shot 24 minutes earlier

Because Damian Lillard put up buckets in beaucoup — 50 of them to be exact, including a Playoff-high 10 3-pointers — it’s difficult to give every shot it’s fair admiration. But on the first possession of the third quarter, Lillard actually showed Paul George his “bad shot,” a warning shot if you will.

See the shot here at 2:12.

Because of the size mismatch, the Oklahoma City Thunder were more than comfortable with switching 6-foot-7 Defensive Player of the Year candidate Paul George onto Lillard on hand-offs and pick-and-rolls. It turns out, Portland’s star was just a little bit more comfortable.

This one tracked in as a 34-foot fadeaway 3-pointer, but it holds some special significance, too. To this point, the Blazers had found a way to withstand the Thunder shooting 59.5 percent, foul trouble and injuries from some of Portland’s featured stars, and still had a four point lead. It sent a message that Lillard’s hot start wasn’t a mirage.

After this shot, Lillard had 37 points on 13-of-19 from the field and 7-of-10 from deep. As mentioned, by the end of this series, Lillard was a perfect 5-of-5 on shots from 30-feet and beyond, a testament to that work he had put in.

In his postgame presser, Lillard discussed the deep shots more extensively:

"“My trainer, Phil Beckner, we was working out the other night in OKC, and he was like, ‘Just take a few, take a few deep ones. You know off the dribble. Let’s shoot a few deep ones’ and he was like ‘I’m telling you, you gone hit one of these.’”"

Well, how about two?