----- Damian Lillard scores 51 points as the Portland Trail Blazers hammer the Utah Jazz 124-107 Saturday night at Moda Center.
Between 1970-2004, the Portland Trail Blazers had a total of three 50-point games, two by Geoff Petrie in 1973 and once by Clyde Drexler in 1989. Damian Lillard has done it three times in less than two-weeks.
Lillard finished the night with 51 points and 12 assists as the Portland Trail Blazers won their fourth-straight game by hammering the Utah Jazz 124-107 Saturday night at Moda Center. He connected on 17 of his 29 shots including 9-of-15 from three-point range.
Lillard has eight-straight games with 30 or more points, and has connected on 49 three-pointers over his last six-games.
“He’s the most efficient basketball player in the league for the last month or so," Portland guard CJ McCollum said. "Like I always say, he’s a machine. He’s built for these type of moments. When we’re struggling, he gets it going and we’re reaching that part of the season where he usually turns it up a notch.”
Hassan Whiteside continued his strong play finishing with 17 points, 21 rebounds, and three blocks.
The Jazz started the game strong connecting on 5-of-10 from three-point range in the first quarter to take a 34-33 lead. They extended their lead to 53-48 with 3:10 to play in the first half before the Blazers exploded. Portland closed the half on a 15-0 run to take a 63-53 halftime lead thanks to a 10-point burst from Lillard.
The Blazers controlled the game in the third with 16-points from Lillard on 6-of-9 shooting. Utah did not threaten the rest of the way.
Donovan Mitchell led Utah (32-17) with 25 points. He took time after the game to recognize Lillard's exceptional play.
“He's in the MVP conversation in my opinion,” Mitchell said. “He understood where the team was in the playoff situation obviously with guys hurt, and he's taken it upon himself to go out there and do it. He's on a hell of a run.”
In back-to-back nights, the Blazers have played their two best games of the season with wins over the Lakers and Jazz.
“I told the team I thought that’s as good of a back-to-back as you’re gonna get,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “To go to LA under the circumstances of that game and get a win, and then come back here, get back here at 2:30 in the morning, and beat a good, rested team, that’s a hell of a back-to-back. I’m proud of the way we’re playing.”
With the win, Portland has now won seven of their last 10 games.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers travel to Denver to meet the Nuggets on Tuesday night. The game is scheduled to tip off at 6:00 PM.
Chad's Take- The last six-games for Lillard is the best stretch in franchise history.