Damian Lillard only wanted to come to the bubble if the Portland Trailblazers had a legit shot at making it to the playoffs. The Blazers started the bubble season outside of the eighth seed in the western conference. Since then, Portland is 7-2 and took over the No.8 seed in the west with the win on Tuesday. With a win on Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets, the Blazers can lock up a spot in the play-in series.
After missing two free throws at the end of the game in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Damian Lillard has gone on a tear in his last two games. On Sunday, Lillard exploded for 51 points in 124-121 win against the Philadelphia 76ers. Lillard shot 16-28 from the field and 4-12 from the three-point line. He was outstanding in the game, scoring in a lot of different ways, shooting three’s, mid-range game, and getting to the basket. Lillard also shot 15-16 from the charity stripe. Portland needed every bit of Lillard’s 51 on Sunday.
On Tuesday night, Lillard was big-time again for the Blazers. He scored 61 points in a 134-131 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
It was Lillard’s third 60-point game this season; the only other player to accomplish this was Wilt Chamberlain. On Tuesday nights game, Lillard made nine out of 17 three’s; he was on fire. Once again, Lillard had it going from all over the court. He also shot 17-32 from the field and an incredible 18-18 from the free-throw line. Lillard put the Blazers on his back, and like on Sunday night, every one of Lillard points was needed.
Lillard is trying to carry the Blazers on his back to get into the playoffs. The way he is playing reminds me of how Kobe Bryant put the Los Angeles Lakers on his back at the end of the 2012 season before tearing his Achilles tendon.
Damian Lillard is out for blood and is showing no signs of slowing down. Since missing two crucial free throws at the end of the against the Clippers, Lillard has made 33 out 34 free throws. There is still work for Lillard and the Blazers to do to make the playoffs, but this could be setting the stage for a historic week and weekend.