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Lillard “just putting energy in the right places”

Damian Lillard put up a career-high 60 points as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz, but for him it was just another day.


The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 134-124 on Wednesday and that’s much thanks to Damian Lillard. Lillard scored a season-high 60 points, along with eight assists, seven rebounds, and three steals.

“It felt so simple”

Lillard made nine of 15 three-point attempts, putting his career total at 2,292, and making him sixth all time for three-pointers. With his 60 points, he was just one point short of tying his career-high for single-season scoring.

“It came pretty simple,” said Lillard after the game. “I knew that it was a game we needed to win, so I came out with the mentality to attack and be aggressive. But it wasn’t like I just came out on fire.”

Lillard may not have felt that way, but it certainly looked that way. Though the Blazers struggled through the first quarter, it was he who carried the team, then taking them on an 11-0 run in the second quarter to take the lead. In the third quarter, he dominated even more, scoring 24 of the 27 points the Blazers racked up in the quarter, 20 of which were consecutive. In the fourth, the Jazz were getting more aggressive on defense and still, Lillard put up 10 more points for a total of 60.

This is Lillard’s fourth time to put up 60 points in a game, which is tied for the third-most behind only the greats Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant.

“I was just putting energy into the right places,” said Lillard. “I was making the right passes, attacking the gaps. If there was any drop defense, I was taking the threes. If the paint looked open, I was attacking the paint.”

For Lillard, this was just a simple game of playing technical and being in the right place at the right time. But it was truly a display of talent and athleticism. Lillard went 21-29 from the field, 9-15 from distance, and 9-10 from the line. He is now the only player in NBA history with three games of at least 60 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

The Blazers will face the Toronto Raptors on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET) to try to make it three wins in a row.


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