In a stunning performance, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard scored a career-high 71 points in a losing effort against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. Lillard’s 71 points are the most ever scored by a player in Blazers history, and the second-most in NBA history in a losing effort behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 73-point game in 1962.
Lillard shot an incredible 17-for-32 from the field, including 9-for-16 from beyond the arc. He also hit 18 of 18 free throws and added five rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Despite Lillard’s heroics, the Blazers lost the game 124-107 to the Nuggets.
Lillard’s performance was the culmination of a tremendous scoring run, as he has now scored at least 30 points in his last ten games. The All-Star guard has been carrying the Blazers all season, and he has now scored 50 or more points in a game twice this season.
After the game, Lillard was understandably disappointed in the loss but expressed pride in his individual performance. He told reporters, “When you’re in those type of zones, it’s a feeling that’s hard to explain. You feel like the rim is huge and everything you throw up is going to go in.”
Lillard’s historic performance is sure to go down as one of the greatest individual efforts in NBA history, even if it did not result in a victory for his team. With the playoffs approaching, the Blazers will need Lillard to continue his scoring onslaught if they hope to make a deep postseason run.
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