Portland Trail Blazers legends Clyde Drexler, Brandon Roy and Damian Lillard shared more than the same team, a talent for scoring and vicious dunking ability.
On May 21, sports network ESPN finished its list of all-time starting lineups for every NBA team. For the Portland Trail Blazers, NBA writers selected Damian Lillard, Clyde Drexler, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Bill Walton.
May 2 marked the six-year anniversary of Damian Lillard making a game-winning shot with 0.09 seconds left in the game to advance the Blazers to the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. Intriguingly, former Blazer stars Drexler and Roy have also made game-winning shots in less than a second.
On Dec. 4, 1994, “Clyde the Glide” helped the Blazers win after hoisting up a shot with 0.09 seconds on the game clock.
On Nov. 6, 2008, Roy “Dagger” made a tough shot with 0.08 seconds to give the Blazers a two-point victory.
Aside from time, the daunting shots share other noteworthy similarities.
Three-Ball, Corner Pocket
All of the game-winning shots were three-point shots. Roy and Lillard were open after losing their primary defenders Tracy McGrady and Chandler Parsons, respectively. Drexler quickly evaded defender Todd Day but had Marty Conlon switch onto him. After catching the ball on an inbounds play, he abruptly spun around and shot the ball from behind the arc, making it off the backboard.
Houston, We Have a Problem
Two of the three shots were against the Houston Rockets. Lillard was playing against James Harden and Dwight Howard in the first round of the playoffs. Early in the NBA season, Roy and the Blazers were battling Metta World Peace and Yao Ming. Drexler was playing against the Milwaukee Bucks but was traded to Houston Rockets two months later.
All of the shots happened in a home game. Lillard and the Blazers were at risk of playing a Game 7 in Houston. Roy helped Portland win their second game of the season to make the team 2-3. Both of their wins were at home. The 1994-95 Portland Trail Blazers team with Drexler was playing its last season at former arena Memorial Coliseum. The Blazers’ current home, the Moda Center (then the Rose Garden), opened the following season on Oct. 12, 1995.
Former Portland Trail Blazers star Aldridge was there for Lillard and Roy’s game-winning shots and was the leading scorer for Portland. He had 27 points against the Rockets in 2008 and 30 points in 2014. Aldridge played nine seasons with the Blazers and had Roy and Lillard as teammates. Had there not been any injuries or trades, three of ESPN’s Blazers all-time starters could have played together.