Point guard hits clutch three to help secure the win for the Blazers.
With just five games on the NBA schedule on Tuesday night, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard stepped up and delivered the performance of the night as his team sealed a 119-116 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year is earning a reputation of being one of the most clutch players in the league particularly given his efficiency in overtime, and he delivered another sparkling performance as he hit a 3-pointer with 0.4 second remaining.
Lillard had a career-high eight 3-pointers while scoring 36 points, and coach Terry Stotts had nothing to explain in his post-game interview and merely suggested that his point guard was in good form and they decided to run plays through him.
“That was cold-blooded,” Cleveland guard Dion Waiters said. “We knew Lillard was getting the ball. That was a big-time shot.”
Portland have the best record in the NBA at 22-4, and are now 11-0 against the Eastern Conference as their miraculous season continues.
The Blazers have also now won five straight games and are 12-2 on the road so far this season, while LeBron James took to Twitter last night to insist that the game was arguably the best so far this year.
Elsewhere, the Oklahoma City Thunder kept the pressure on their rivals at the top and moved to 20-4 after their 105-93 win over the Denver Nuggets.
The win was their seventh in a row, as Kevin Durant ended the game with 30 points again, while Russell Westbrook had 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
However, as has become a common trend so far this season, a ‘Big Three’ continues to emerge in Oklahoma City as Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
There were also wins for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors over the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans respectively.
Kobe Bryant continues to improve his game following his comeback from an Achilles injury and had a season-high 21 points, while Warriors coach Mark Jackson got the response he desired after conceding he was frustrated with his team’s lack of effort in recent games.
Andre Iguodala returned from injury which will undoubtedly be a boost for the team moving forward, while Stephen Curry (28 points, 12 assists) and David Lee (21 points, 17 rebounds) played integral roles in the win.
In the other game of the night, the Charlotte Bobcats secured a 95-87 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento Kings 87-95 Charlotte Bobcats
Portland Trail Blazers 119-116 Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Lakers 96-92 Memphis Grizzlies
Oklahoma City Thunder 105-93 Denver Nuggets
New Orleans Pelicans 93-104 Golden State Warriors