----- Damian Lillard scores 50 points including the game winning shot from 37-feet as the Portland Trail Blazers eliminate the Oklahoma City Thunder from the Western Conference Playoffs in five games with a 118-115 win Tuesday night at Moda Center.
Damian Lillard scored 50 points including a dagger from 37-feet to give the Blazers 118-115 win and a first round series victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games.
After a Thunder miss, Lillard dribbled out most of the final 18.4 seconds before launching a logo-three over Oklahoma City's Paul George.
“It was a great feeling," Lillard said. "When it left my hand, it felt good. I felt good about it.”
“I didn’t want to put it in the referee’s hands, where it was contact and maybe they get away with contact or I end up having to take a tougher shot because there’s contact and (the referees) don’t want to decide the game,” he said. “So I was standing there looking at the rim and I was like, this is a comfortable range."
After a series filled with trash-talk coming from the Thunder, Lillard finally let everyone know how he truly felt about it when he waved goodbye to OKC immediately after he hit the game-winner.
“I mean, the series was over,” Lillard said. “That was it. I was just waving goodbye to them. I think after Game Three, Dennis Schroder was out there pointing to his wrist. They were out there doing all these celebrations and doing all this stuff and we kept our composure. After one win, that was what they decided to do and we were like, OK, what we want to do is win four games. When we win those four games, there’s not going to be nothing to talk about. So that’s what it was.”
Lillard scored 34 of his 50 points in the first half playing all 24 minutes with CJ McCollum on the bench with foul trouble. It is the first time in franchise history a player has scored 50-points in a playoff game.
Blazers Coach Terry Stotts said it was the best performance he has seen in person.
“The magnitude of the last shot - obviously to win a series,” Stotts said. “It was quite a performance.”
Oklahoma City controlled most of the first half and surged to a 105-90 lead with 7:45 remaining thanks to a 30-6 run, but Portland responded by outscoring the Thunder 28-10 the rest of the way to secure the win.
The Blazers received a surprise boost from Jusuf Nurkic when he arrived at the arena with just a few minutes left in the game. It was the first time Nurkic had been at Moda Center since suffering a season-ending leg injury. The crowd roared when his face was shown from the Blazers' bench on the big screen.
''You guys know it, you felt it in the building when they showed him on the big screen,'' Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. ''The fact that he showed up - no one knew he was going to show up. I honestly think we fed off that. There was a little good karma when he did show up.''
This is the third-straight year Russell Westbrook and the Thunder have failed to advance past the first round.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers will await the winner of the Spurs and Nuggets. Denver leads the series 3-2 with game 6 coming up on Thursday night in San Antonio.
Chad's Take- Lillard played the best game in franchise history.