NBA

Lillard goes into 'attack mode' for record-breaking 71-point haul in Blazers win

By Sports Desk February 27, 2023

Damian Lillard revelled in being in "attack mode" as he scored a record-breaking 71 points in the Portland Trail Blazers' 131-114 win over the Houston Rockets.

Lillard stole the show with an incredible performance at the Moda Center on Sunday, helping himself to a franchise record and career-high points tally.

The seven-time NBA All-Star matched Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell for the highest points haul of the season and had a personal best of 11 three-pointers in a game when he came off court with 44 seconds to play.

Houston were unable to live with the ruthless point guard, who has scored at least 60 points in an NBA game on five occasions - behind only Wilt Chamberlain (32) and Kobe Bryant (six).

Lillard said: "I think any hooper enjoys those moments when you're hot, you're in attack mode, you're feeling good.

"But it's the stuff afterward that I struggle with, like when I walked off the court, was I supposed to be overly excited, or what?"

Lillard was swiftly brought back down to earth when he was drug tested following his astonishing display.

"I know I’ve got a lot of tattoos, but when you're doing a blood draw, it's different from tattoos," Lillard, who has a fear of needles, said. "It brought me down from here to the floor."

Lillard scored 41 points in the first half, including eight of his three-pointers. That was the most points any player has posted in a half this season.

Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups said: "It really, really was a masterful performance. It was a piece of art. That was incredible."

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