‘Playing Mortal Kombat’: CJ McCollum in Awe of Damian Lillard’s Stunning Performance

Published 02/18/2021, 12:48 AM EST
Jan 18, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots against the San Antonio Spurs during the fourth quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports


Both the New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers came face to face after winning their respective matchups from just the previous day. However, it looks like this back-to-back schedule did not suit the Pelicans and worked in favor of the Blazers. Portland ended up winning this matchup 126-124, as Damian Lillard displayed another big performance with 43 points under his belt.

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Damian Lillard is the cheat code

Lillard’s performance came after the Blazers crushed the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 115-104 win. Lillard also put up 31 points and 10 assists against them to seal the deal. For this, his teammate Enes Kanter even described Lillard as the cheat code who can’t be guarded by anyone.

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Once again, Dame proved what he could do as he finished the game against the Pelicans with a three-pointer with only 16.5 seconds left for the buzzer to go off. He had 11 of his points in the fourth quarter and was clutch with seven minutes left on the clock. This is Portland’s second straight game on the road, and Dame just doesn’t seem to get tired.

CJ McCollum also took this opportunity to praise Lillard. After this game, he posted on Twitter and wrote, “40 piece with 16 dimes. Sheeeshhh. Back to back traveling on the day of the game. @Dame_Lillard really serving cheat code style like he playing mortal Kombat.”

The Pelicans almost had this game

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This was the sixth consecutive victory for the Blazers, but the Pelicans gave them a tough time for it. Lillard had to play for the entirety of the first quarter, but when he sat down for a few minutes in the second, the Pelicans took full advantage of it. They had taken a 45-43 lead thanks to Zion Williamson‘s elite scoring.

The final quarter was a power struggle with one team surpassing the other and vice versa. First, JJ Redick gave New Orleans a 105-103 lead, but when Lillard came off the bench, the Blazers regained their control. Then came a string of three-pointers from Lonzo Ball and Redick, and the score was 124-123 with less than 30 seconds left.

Jan 5, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) hits a shot over Chicago Bulls guard Garrett Temple (17) during the first half of the game at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans even had the last chance, but Ball missed a three-pointer and Brandon Ingram threw an airball at the buzzer. However, Lillard making comebacks for Portland ensured his team this win. With his help, how much further can the Blazers pull themselves up in the West?

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 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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