NBA

Lillard records season's second-best return with 60 points in Blazers win

By Sports Desk January 26, 2023

Damian Lillard recorded the equal second-highest individual score this season with 60 points in the Portland Trail Blazers' 134-124 win over the Utah Jazz, but says it means so much more in a win.

Lillard matched Luka Doncic's 60-point game against the New York Knicks on December 27 with his haul on Wednesday, that included 21-of-29 shooting, making nine-of-15 three-pointers and nine-of-10 free-throws.

Only Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers has exceeded Lillard's 60 points this season, scoring 71 against the Chicago Bulls on January 2.

Lillard's 60-point game was the fourth of his career, tying Michael Jordan and James Harden for the third most in NBA history.

"It feels great," Lillard told ESPN after the game. "I've had these types of performances and we've come out on the losing end. To know this type of effort came in a winning effort, it means that much more especially with what our team has been going through.

"The most important thing was to come out on the winning side."

The win improves the Blazers' record to 23-25 with back-to-back wins, having lost eight of their previous 10 games.

Portland had trailed 31-19 at quarter-time before finding their feet with a 47-point second quarter.

Lillard scored 50 of his points in three quarters, while he managed six three-pointers in the first half.

"It just feels like you can always control the outcome of the game," Lillard said.

"Even when they closed in on the lead and we had some bad turnovers, when you're in that type of groove, you feel like you can always get it going back in the right direction for the team. That's how I felt."

Lillard passed Zach Randolph on the NBA all-time scoring list during the game, sitting 69th overall with 18,787 points.

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    Lillard joined the Bucks in a blockbuster trader from the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of the season, but his first campaign in Milwaukee has been a turbulent one. 

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    "Keep doing what you do, keep believing, and when you do that, usually it comes back to you. You just can't fold."

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