Damian Lillard

Lillard takes throne against Kings: 'He's a hell of a player'


Lillard takes throne against Kings: 'He's a hell of a player'

SACRAMENTO -- Kings fans were treated to an incredible scoring display Friday night at Golden 1 Center. Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of their own who did the damage.

Damian Lillard put on a show, scoring a season-best 50 points in just 29 minutes of action as the Portland Trail Blazers ran away from the Sacramento Kings for a 118-100 victory.

“Tough night,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said with a smile following the loss. “Damian Lillard was fantastic. I though we did a super job on him in the fourth quarter, where we held him scoreless.”

For the coach of a 17-37 team, you can either laugh or cry following another lopsided loss. Joerger chose to bring levity to the room, knowing that Lillard sat out fourth quarter with his team up big.

“It’s just one of those things where you’re just in a rhythm and it doesn’t matter where you are on the floor when you have his shooting ability and range,” veteran Vince Carter said. “Any crack that you see, you take it and he just felt that good and we allowed that.”

Lillard scored 14 points in each of the first two quarters to finish the half with 28. He was just getting warmed up.

“He’s a hell of a player; an All-Star averaging 25,” Garrett Temple said. “He got it going early, I think he had 10 in the first eight minutes of the game and then it was just downhill from there.”

Sacramento stayed close until the mid-third quarter when Lillard went into nitro mode. After the Kings cut the Blazers lead to one at 75-74, Lillard finished out the third quarter with 15 of Portland’s next 17 points in wild barrage.

“He just had it going,” rookie De’Aaron said. “We brought it back in the third quarter and then they just went on a run that we couldn’t answer.”

The All-Star guard dropped in 22 of his 50 in the third to help the Blazers build an 18-point lead heading into the final frame. There was no need for him to re-enter the game and risk injury.

“I saw we were up 20 and I was like, ‘Okay, if we keep this lead, there’s no reason to go back in there.’ I’d rather have 50 in 29 minutes with some character than go out there and chase 60 - I feel like that’s bad karma,” Lillard told reporters after the win.

Lillard shot an impressive 16-of-26 from the field on the evening, including 8-of-13 from long range. He fell short of the Golden 1 Center record of 55 points set by former King, DeMarcus Cousins, on Dec. 20 last season against Portland.

Damian Lillard: 'I'm not joining nobody' like Kevin Durant did, unless...

Damian Lillard: 'I'm not joining nobody' like Kevin Durant did, unless...

Kevin Durant. LeBron James. Chris Paul. Paul George. LaMarcus Aldridge. Kyrie Irving. Gordon Hayward.

Those just some of the superstars to change teams in the last few years in pursuit of a championship.

But don't expect Damian Lillard to add his name to that list.

While speaking on the latest episode of Complex's Everyday Struggle, the Blazers point guard was asked about the possibility of joining up with other stars to try to win a title.

"I mean, like I said about [former Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge], I wouldn't have done it. For me, I'm not joining nobody," Lillard said.

When it was brought up that he'd join LeBron if given the chance, Lillard responded by saying this: "I'm not joining nobody. I would not win a championship before I go and team up and do all that. Unless it was something I couldn't control."

A hypothetical scenario was posed to Lillard: Let's say you're 34 years old (Lillard is currently 27 years old) and you had the chance to join two of your superstar friends on another team. You still wouldn't do it?

"I’m saying this because this is how I feel, not how I feel at the moment. That’s just how I feel about it. I think if that’s what somebody wants to do, I’m not mad at them for doing it. I’m just telling you what I’m not going to do. That ain’t how we get down," Lillard responded.

To wrap up the topic, Lillard was asked if he holds it against any player that does decide to team up with other superstars.

"Nah, if it make them feel good, if they comfortable doing it, then do you," Lillard said.

Blazers: Damian Lillard's more Oakland than the Warriors


Blazers: Damian Lillard's more Oakland than the Warriors

The Warriors' new alternate jerseys this upcoming season will honor Oakland with "The Town" across their chest. But if you ask the Blazers, the Warriors have no real love for The Town. 

On Sunday, the Blazers proclaimed their own Damian Lillard is more Oakland than the Warriors because of the team's future move to San Francisco. 

Lillard grew up in Oakland where he starred at Oakland High School and earned a scholarship to play at Weber State University. 

Starting in the 2019-20 season, the Warriors are set to play in San Francisco at the Chase Center. The Warriors started as a franchise in Philadelphia from 1946-1962 before moving to San Francisco from 1962-1971.

Ever since the 1971 season, the Warriors' home has been Oakland.