5) Lillard’s bittersweet symphony
June 1, 2021, will forever be remembered as the day Lillard delivered a masterclass in basketball artistry. In a high-stakes playoff showdown against the formidable Denver Nuggets, Lillard had a performance that left fans, players and pundits in awe.
He exploded for an astonishing 55 points in a game that stretched into double overtime, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.
But it wasn’t just the sheer volume of points that made this performance legendary – after trailing by 22 points, Lillard, with his signature blend of skill and determination, drained a clutch 3-pointer at the buzzer, leveling the score and breathing life into his team’s comeback hopes.
Not stopping there, with just 6.4 seconds remaining in the first OT, Dame showcased his “Dame Time” magic again, sinking another crucial three.
Having witnessed numerous playoff games over his career, Blazers’ Coach Terry Stotts was left amazed, remarking, “It was the best playoff performance I’ve ever seen.”
Yet, the night ended in heartbreak for the Blazers. Despite Lillard’s heroics, they couldn’t clinch the win. CJ McCollum’s comment, lamenting the team’s inability to rally around Lillard’s monumental effort, captured the bittersweet essence of the evening: “It’s a shame we wasted one of the all-time best performances by not being more supportive of him.”