After Damian Lillard made an incredible game-winning three to beat the Chicago Bulls, I decided to go back and rank his best game-winners from 5-1.
Watching Damian Lillard nail game-winning shots for the Portland Trail Blazers never gets old for me, and after his dagger to the hearts of the Chicago Bulls, I wanted to go back in the past to relive and rank 5 of the best (in my opinion).
5. December 16, 2012, vs. New Orleans Hornets:
We are going back to Dame’s Rookie of the Year campaign and his crazy game-winning 3 to sink the Hornets at Moda Centre. Tied 92 all with 4.2 seconds left, Lillard inbounds the ball before getting it back, crossing to the right and hitting a fadeaway 3 over the hands of 6’9 Ryan Anderson.
To be hitting a shot so difficult and clutch at the same time in only your second month of NBA basketball was a telltale sign that the Blazers had drafted a certified star.
4. November 2nd, 2017 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
With the game tied at 110 and the wingspan of Brandon Ingram in his face, Dame sized him up, walking him from half court to the right-wing. He then hit his signature step back onto the Moda Centre logo and nailed the game-winning 3.
This moment is not just significant for the shot itself, but this was the birth of the term “Dame Time” as Lillard continuously tapped his wrist for the camera. This wasn’t just another win against the Lakers. This was the birth of a movement.
3. January 30th, 2021 @ Chicago Bulls
Fresh in the memory, this shot comes in at #3 for the pure degree of difficulty. After a scramble following a jump ball, Lillard doesn’t actually gain possession until 3 seconds were left on the clock.
With Lauri Markkanen in his face, he makes a quick dash to the right before fading out of bounds running towards the right corner, Markkanen still in his face. The rest was history.
2. May 2nd, 2014 vs. Houston Rockets
I wanted to have this #1 due to pure sentimental value considering this was my first season of die-hard support for the Blazers; however #1 is just too good to be anything less.
But let’s appreciate the shot that sent the Rockets home. With just 0.9 seconds on the clock and the series to win, Lillard ran across the court and straight towards the inbounding Nic Batum. With just a slight window of space, Lillard took the opportunity and nailed the 3 ball.
This was Portland’s first playoff series win in 14 years, and to say that the local crowd was pumped would be understating the fact. In just his third season, to hit a shot so significant for a franchise showed that Lillard was exceptional.
1. April 23rd, 2019 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
I know for a fact when you read the title of this article, you thought of this shot straight away, and it is a deserving number 1.
The series had been a chippy one, and the Blazers were struggling to put away the Thunder at home when looking to win the series. Enter Dame Time. With the scores tied at 115, Lillard hit a fadeaway half-court 3 in the face of Paul George, sending the Moda Centre into a frenzy.
This is one of the most famous playoff game winners of all time and will be replayed for years to come.
Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments section and what order you would have your top 5 in, but there is one thing we can all agree on here. We are so lucky to have Dame Time.