Damian Lillard makes history, Portland Trail Blazers defeat Utah Jazz

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, hits a 3-point shot over Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. Lillard scored 60 points, including nine 3-pointers, as the Blazers won 134-124.

Steve Dykes, AP

The Utah Jazz went to Portland and unfortunately entered the Moda Center for a game against the Trail Blazers during Dame Time. The Trail Blazers won, 134-124.

Dame Time

Damian Lillard scored 60 points on only 29 shot attempts, the most efficient 60-point game in NBA history. Only nine of his points came from the free throw line and he shot at a 60% clip from 3-point range and 72.4% overall.

He’s the fourth player to score 60 points on a field goal percentage of at least 70% in NBA history, joining Wilt Chamberlain (who did it four times), Karl Malone and David Thompson.

The way that Lillard was playing made it feel like defenders were just part of an obstacle course, the basket was the size of the ocean, and he was just out there having the time of his life.

Easy.

The Blazers put together every one of Lillard’s made baskets in a nice little video and it’s just unbelievable the varied ways he was able to punish the Jazz. He had 50 points by the end of the third quarter and as the Blazers broadcaster’s point out, it didn’t feel like he broke a sweat.

A truly incredible performance.

2:29 of glory 🥲

60 PTS | 9 3PM | 3 STL pic.twitter.com/NXNRsQ579A

— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 26, 2023

What could have been done?

Were there defensive breakdowns? Yes. The Jazz were slow on their defensive decision-making, the double-team was barely effective because Lillard just broke away before they could really get set, and even when they did get set they seemed afraid to get physical with him.

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This is not going to be a game that the Jazz look back on and are proud of how they performed on the defensive end. But at the same time, even if they’d been more physical, more focused and executed with more attention to detail, it would have had to happen really early on because once a player like Lillard feels like he’s in the zone there’s almost nothing that can stop him.

“I guess in theory, we could have sent three people after him,” Jazz head coach Will Hardy said. “I’m not sure that would have worked either.”

Even when the double team was effective at getting the ball out of Lillard’s hands, the Jazz were slow or just unable to get into their rotations and pick up the open man. You often hear coaches say …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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