Damian Lillard Joins LeBron James and Jerry West in Record Books Following Historic Playoff Performance

Published 06/04/2021, 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 3, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) scores a basket in the second half against the Denver Nuggets during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center. The Denver Nuggets won the game 126-115. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports


To the dismay of their dedicated fanbase, the Portland Trail Blazers faced another early exit from the NBA playoffs. This time, they met their demise at the hands of the hands of the Denver Nuggets. However, it is safe to say, they didn’t go down without a fight. At least, it holds true for their superstar player Damian Lillard, who kept the series a nail-biter only to lose to Nikola Jokic and his crew in double overtime.

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Although he finished on the losing side, Lillard joined some NBA legends with his unique playoff record.

Damian Lillard becomes part of an elite group

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With little assistance from the supporting cast, the Portland Trail Blazers faced defeat in Game 5 despite Dame putting up his highest playoff return score of 55 points and 11 assists.

While he managed to extend the game to 2 overtimes, his luck only lasted that long.

And now, another loss in Game 6 has landed Dame and his team out of the postseason run, with the Denver Nuggets progressing to the second round. The Blazers had a home-court advantage in this one and were perfectly capable of pulling off a comeback. However, Lillard couldn’t put up a big performance as he did in the last game and ended the night with 28 points and 13 assists.

Yet, he was able to etch his name in NBA’s history books with the numbers he was putting up. As per ESPN Stats & Info, “Damian Lillard became the 4th player in NBA history with 200 points and 60 assists in a playoff series, joining LeBron James, Jerry West, and Oscar Robertson. Lillard was the only one to accomplish the feat in 6 games.”

In fact, he also had 35 three-pointers in the first round, which is the most ever in a playoff series. This only means that Lillard went out with a bang.

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Where did the Blazers go wrong?

Both CJ McCollum and Norman Powell had a poor shooting night in Game 5. Their lackluster performance gave the Nuggets the boost they needed, and they fed off of it.

So, even though Lillard was sensational, his performance couldn’t create as big an impact as they needed. They also needed Nurkic to stay out of foul trouble, but they had four in the third quarter, following which he was benched.

In fact, they had a hard time containing the top candidate for the MVP this season, Nikola Jokic. He added 38 points and 11 rebounds in the last game and finished tonight’s game with 36 points on the scoreboard.

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Along with him, Michael Porter Jr. had 26 points of his own, out of which 22 came in the first quarter itself.

Jun 3, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA;Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles up court in the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets now await the result of the Lakers vs Phoenix Suns game, as they will be heading to the semi-finals with the team that wins that intense series. Until next time for Damian Lillard and the Blazers.

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Yashima Bhatia

1206 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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