Countdown to Tip-Off: Blazers beat Hawks in 2005 home opener

Countdown to Tip-Off: Blazers beat Hawks in 2005 home opener

We're counting down the days until the Portland Trail Blazers open up the 2019-2020 NBA season by looking back at each of the home opener wins (the streak is now at 18). Here is a look at what happened back in 2005 when the Portland Trail Blazers faced the Atlanta Hawks in their home-opener.

Can’t remember what the NBA was like in 2005? Let’s paint the picture:

  • Due to Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Hornets played most of their home games in Oklahoma City 
  • Kobe scored 81 points against Toronto
  • Ray Allen broke the single-season record for three-pointers made, with 269
  • Steve Nash was the reigning MVP 
  • The Spurs were the defending champions
  • Allen Iverson was the league’s leading scorer
  • Andrew Bogut was the No.1 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft
  • The Blazers had the No.6 pick and drafted Martell Webster. 

 

The Atlanta Hawks and No.2 overall pick Marvin Williams made their one and only trip to Portland early in the 2005 season. The game was a battle from start to finish, literally coming down to the final seconds. Tied at 93-93, Zach Randolph went up for the game-winning shot as time expired. He missed it, but then you heard the whistle. Atlanta's Zaza Pachulia was called for a foul with 0.2 seconds left, sending Randolph to the line. Z-Bo hit the first shot to put the Blazers up one, then intentionally missed the second one to make sure the clock ran out on Atlanta. 

Notable stats: 

Atlanta -

Joe Johnson – 23 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds.

Josh Childress – 13 points, 5rebounds

Josh Smith – 14 points, 4  blocks

Portland –

Darius Miles – 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists 

Sebastian Telfair – 18 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists

Zach Randolph – 21 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist

The Blazers would go on to finish the season 21-61, the worst record in the NBA that season. 

With Memphis Grizzlies' loss that guarantees play-in games

With Memphis Grizzlies' loss that guarantees play-in games

And now we know.

Sunday afternoon, the Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Toronto Raptors 108-99, which now means the NBA restart will officially have a No. 8 and No. 9 play-in game to determine the final Western Conference playoff spot.

With the Trail Blazers still controlling their own destiny in securing a spot in the play-in games, Portland knows that the final three seeding games are ‘must-wins’ as the Blazers eye the eighth seed.  

Trail Blazers all-star point Damian Lillard discussed just that following Saturday’s loss to the Clippers.

In our huddle, in our locker room we saying let’s go win all three because we trying to get a chance at the eight spot. We trying to track down Memphis so that’s what we looking at and we also know that other teams are playing well. You don’t know who is going to be playing for some of the teams that they have to play, so we’ve got to have the mindset of just going out there to win all three.  -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard

HERE ARE THE UPDATED WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS AFTER MEMPHIS LOSS, SAN ANTONIO WIN, AND NEW ORLEANS LOSS:

8. Memphis Grizzlies remaining schedule: Boston, Milwaukee 

9. Portland Trail Blazers (1.0 games behind) remaining schedule: Philadelphia, Dallas, Brooklyn

10. San Antonio Spurs (1.0 games behind) remaining schedule: Houston, Utah

11. Phoenix Suns (1.5 games behind) remaining schedule: OKC, Philadelphia, Dallas

12. New Orleans Pelicans (2.5 games behind) remaining schedule: Sacramento, Orlando

13. Sacramento (3.0 games behind) remaining schedule: Houston, New Orleans, Los Angeles Lakers (Eliminated from the eighth seed)

The Western Conference play-in games will be played Saturday at 11:30am (PT). Game 2 (if necessary) will be next Sunday at 1:30pm (PT).

Both play-in games will be nationally televised games. The first play-in game will be broadcasted live on ABC, while Sunday’s game if needed be live on ESPN.  

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Betting odds: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Betting odds: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Philadelphia 76ers

The Trail Blazers are 2.5 point favorites against the Philadelphia 76ers in Caesars Casino & Sportsbook after opening at Portland being favored by 3.5 points. 80% of bets are taking the Blazers to cover, per The Action Network.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Additionally, the over/under point total for the game is 229 points. Portland has averaged 123.2 points per game during the restart and Philadelphia has averaged 117 points per game. 

Damian Lillard, who missed two free-throws late against the Clippers that would have given Portland the lead, is listed at over/under 28.5 points in FanDuel. So far in the restart, he has averaged 29.4 points through five seeding games and scored 33 points against the Sixers earlier this season. 

Meanwhile, CJ McCollum has an over/under of 23.5 points after scoring only 16 points against Philadelphia earlier this season, Jusuf Nurkic has a threshold of 17.5 points and Carmelo Anthony has a 13.5 points over/under. 

The Sixers will be without All-Star Ben Simmons who will have surgery on his left knee. 

You can catch Sunday’s Blazers-Sixers game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m. Our coverage starts at 1:00 p.m. with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at 2:30 p.m. and ‘Blazers Pregame’ at 3:00 p.m.

You can also stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, for full coverage of the game make sure to follow Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team throughout the day. Follow us on social for the latest updates. 

Eye on the Eight: Portland Trail Blazers still control their destiny

Eye on the Eight: Portland Trail Blazers still control their destiny

After a disappointing 122-117 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday, the Blazers still control their destiny to get into the NBA postseason. But, their chances of earning the eighth seed outright entering the play-in games have taken a hit.

Now, while the Blazers focus on taking on the Philadelphia 76ers at 3:30 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Northwest, other games around the league will also impact the Blazers' chances.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Let's break it down. 

Here are the standings heading into Sunday.  UPDATED AFTER MEMPHIS LOSS, SAN ANTONIO WIN, AND NEW ORLEANS LOSS.

8. Memphis Grizzlies Remaining Schedule: Boston, Milwaukee 

9. Portland Trail Blazers (1.0 games behind) Remaining schedule: Philadelphia, Dallas, Brooklyn

10. San Antonio Spurs (1.0 games behind) Remaining schedule: Houston, Utah

11. Phoenix Suns (1.5 games behind) Remaining schedule: OKC, Philadelphia, Dallas

12. New Orleans Pelicans (2.5 games behind) Remaining schedule: Sacramento, Orlando

13. Sacramento (3.0 games behind) Remaining schedule: Houston, New Orleans, Los Angeles Lakers (Eliminated from the eighth seed)

Notable games Sunday, August 09.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Toronto Raptors (11:00 a.m. PT)

Line: TOR -6.5

Who you want to win: Toronto. Toronto won 108-99. 

If Memphis wins, they will clinch at least the ninth seed in the Western Conference. 

San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans (12:00 p.m. PT)

Line: NOP -3.5

Who you want to win: New Orleans. San Antonio is closer to Portland in the standings so giving them a loss is more important. San Antonio won 122-113.

Houston Rockets vs Sacramento Kings (5:00 p.m. PT)

Line: HOU -4.5

The Kings need to win to keep their hopes for the ninth seed alive, however, a win by Portland also eliminates them. 

After entering the bubble 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies and facing the hardest seeding game schedule of the teams fighting for the eighth seed, the Blazers are now just a game and a half behind Memphis, but with only three games remaining for each team.

Scenarios:

Portland Wins Eighth Seed:

-Portland goes 3-0, Memphis goes 1-1

-Portland goes 2-1, Memphis goes 0-2, San Antonio goes 1-1, Phoenix goes 2-1

Portland Wins Ninth Seed:

-Portland goes 3-0

-Portland goes 2-1, San Antonio goes 1-1, Phoenix goes 2-1

-Portland goes 1-2, San Antonio goes 0-2, Phoenix goes 1-2, New Orleans goes 2-1

A Portland win and Memphis loss to Toronto would set the Blazers up to be a half-game back of the Grizzlies with two games remaining for both teams. A Blazers loss to the Sixers and a San Antonio win against New Orleans and the Blazers will fall to the tenth seed in a tie with Phoenix. 

Moving into the eight seed would be huge for the Blazers. Not only does it give you more separation from the ten seed and gives Portland a chance to play its way into the postseason, but it would make it so the Blazers only need to win one play-in game rather than two. 

But the team needs to just qualify for the play-in games for the postseason regardless. Damian Lillard wanted a path to get into the postseason and now the Blazers are on track to do just that.

You can catch Sunday’s Blazers-Sixers game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m. Our coverage starts at 1:00 p.m. with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at 2:30 p.m. and ‘Blazers Pregame’ at 3:00 p.m.

Plus, to wrap up a Blazers Game Day, check out ‘Blazers Outsiders’ immediately following the 'Blazers Postgame Show.'

Or if you can’t get to a TV, stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

*This article will be updated throughout the day.* 

Trail Blazers Injury Update: Hassan Whiteside is OUT vs. 76ers

usatsi_14695518.jpg
USA Today Images

Trail Blazers Injury Update: Hassan Whiteside is OUT vs. 76ers

Hassan Whiteside (left hip strain) is out for today’s game vs. the LA Clippers, the team announced Sunday morning.

It'll be the second consecutive game missed for the Blazers center who didn't play in Saturday's 122-117 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers. He was initially listed as doubtful before being ruled out. 

Whiteside is dealing with a left hip strain. The Blazers big man started feeling pain in his left hip during Thursday's game against the Denver Nuggets. 

Portland's head coach Terry Stotts gave an update on Whiteside following Friday's practice: 

He started noticing it at the beginning of the game last night. I talked to him today, he really didn’t notice before the game but… early in his minutes last night it started bothering him. -- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

Whiteside played just 13 minutes in Thursday's contest, which is the fewest minutes he's played since the league's return to play. 

Whiteside has been adjusting to life coming off the bench for the Trail Blazers during the NBA restart now that Portland has a healthy Jusuf Nurkic back in the fold.

Through four games in the bubble, Whiteside has averaged 5.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 16 minutes per game.

This isn’t Whiteside’s first injury he has suffered since the restart either. The 7-footer missed the team’s first scrimmage with an Achilles strain.

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

You can catch Sunday’s Blazers-Sixers game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers with tip-off set for 3:30pm. Our coverage starts at 1pm with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at 2:30p.m. and ‘Blazers Pregame’ at 3:00pm.

You can also stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, for full coverage of the game make sure to follow Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team throughout the day. Follow us on social for the latest updates. 

How to Watch & Stream Blazers vs. Sixers, coverage begins at 1pm

How to Watch & Stream Blazers vs. Sixers, coverage begins at 1pm

The Portland Trail Blazers are looking to bounce back Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers following Saturday’s 122-117 loss to the LA Clippers.

The Trail Blazers have fallen into a pattern in these seeding games of relying on spectacular offense to cover up the issues at the other end. In the first half against the Clippers Saturday, Portland's offense put on a show. The Blazers led 75-69 at halftime. 

You can catch Sunday’s Blazers-Sixers game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers with tip-off set for 3:30pm. Our coverage starts at 1pm with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at 2:30p.m. and ‘Blazers Pregame’ at 3:00pm.

Plus, to wrap up a Blazers Game Day, check out ‘Blazers Outsiders’ immediately following the 'Blazers Postgame Show.'

Or if you can’t get to a TV, stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

Plus, for full coverage of Portland’s sixth seeding game make sure to follow Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team throughout the day. Follow us on social for the latest updates. 

Portland’s Remaining Seeding Games:

  • Sunday, Aug. 9 vs. Philadelphia 76ers 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11 vs. Dallas Mavericks 
  • Thursday, Aug. 13 vs. Brooklyn Nets   

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast as special guest Bill Walton joins hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon]: 

  

Injury Reports:
For the 76ers, Glenn Robinson III (left hip; pointer) was listed as questionable, but has been upgraded to available; Ben Simmons (left knee; patella subluxation) is out.

Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside (left hip strain) is out for Sunday’s game vs. Philadelphia.

Quote of the Week:  

Portland wasn’t able to get enough stops down the stretch coupled with costly fouls and Damian Lillard missing a pair of free throws with 18.6 seconds left on the clock, the Blazers loss to the Clippers really stings now that Portland has its eyes set on that eighth seed, not ninth.

In our huddle, in our locker room we saying let’s go win all three because we trying to get a chance at the eight spot. We trying to track down Memphis so that’s what we looking at and we also know that other teams are playing well. You don’t know who is going to be playing for some of the teams that they have to play, so we’ve got to have the mindset of just going out there to win all three.  -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard

Top Game Notes:

  • Sunday's game will be the second and final meeting between the Trail Blazers and the 76ers this season. Philadelphia leads the season series, 1-0.
     
  • Last Meeting: Furkan Korkmaz made a three-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining in regulation to give the 76ers a 129-128 victory over the Trail Blazers at Moda Center on Nov. 2. Damian Lillard led the way for Portland with 33 points (11-16 FG, 8-11 3-PT, 3-3 FT), five rebounds, nine assists and two steals while
     
  • Al Horford had 25 points (12-24 FG, 1-4 3-PT), five rebounds, seven assists, one steal and two blocks for Philadelphia.
     
  • In two games against the 76ers last season, Jusuf Nurkic averaged 19.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He has recorded a double-double in four of his last five games against Philadelphia, averaging 20.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in that span. • CJ McCollum had 16 points (6-15 FG, 4-4 FT), three
    rebounds and one assist against the 76ers on Nov. 2.
     
  • Tobias Harris scored 23 points (10-15 FG, 1-2 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks against Portland on Nov. 2.
    2019-20 OPPONENTS

----

[RELATED]: Damian Lillard comes up short late in a game -- twice -- how often does that happen? 

[RELATED]: Damian Lillard has perfect clap back to Patrick Beverley, Clippers taunting 

[RELATED]: Big Z’s Bubble Week 3 -- Zach Collins answering your Qs: Biggest bubble surprises, his pregame playlist & more

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers final three games a "must-win" after loss to Clippers

[WATCH]: Matchup with the 76ers just got a whole lot more important

[WATCH]: Gary Trent Jr. making it rain in Orlando

Trail Blazers final three games a "must-win" after loss to Clippers

Trail Blazers final three games a "must-win" after loss to Clippers

Saturday’s game was within reach for the Trail Blazers, but after not executing down the stretch, the Clippers finished off the Blazers 122-117.  

There’s no doubt about it— Saturday’s game hurt.

It was a chippy one, too, with the Clippers’ bench taunting Damian Lillard in a rare occasion where the Trail Blazers point guard didn’t come up with Lillard Time.  

With Saturday's loss, the Blazers are now 1.5 games back of the eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies and just 0.5 game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs to keep hold of that ninth spot out West.

“We didn’t make the plays at either end to win that game [down the stretch],” Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said in his initial postgame thoughts.

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon with special guest Richard Jefferson].

Portland wasn’t able to get enough stops down the stretch couple that with costly fouls and Damian Lillard missing a pair of free throws with 18.6 seconds left on the clock, the Blazers loss stings now that Portland has its eyes set on that eighth seed, not ninth.

In our huddle, in our locker room we saying let’s go win all three because we trying to get a chance at the eight spot. We trying to track down Memphis so that’s what we looking at and we also know that other teams are playing well. You don’t know who is going to be playing for some of the teams that they have to play, so we’ve got to have the mindset of just going out there to win all three.  -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard

McCollum felt the way that many did around Rip City -- he was shocked Lillard missed both free throws; however, just like McCollum said, Saturday’s game shouldn’t have come down to those points at the charity stripe.  

“Very surprised,” McCollum said postgame. “But just like I told him, it shouldn’t even have come down to that. We’ve got to do a better job of executing and putting them away earlier. Especially, going against most of their second-unit guys -- we’ve got to do a better job.”

McCollum also added that with the Blazers playing for a chance to make the playoffs, he thinks “every game is a must-win, especially with just three games remaining.”

The Blazers know they don't have time to hang their heads. 

Coach Stotts discussed the team's quick turnaround with Sunday’s game against the 76ers tipping off at 3:30pm PT. 

The Sixers are a challenge whether it’s a back-to-back or not. This loss today really hurt. So, hopefully we have the mindset of how important that game is tomorrow, but… look – they’re great athletes, we play back-to-backs during the regular season, so I don’t think the fact that it’s a back-to-back will matter because we know how important it is.  -- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

While McCollum explained how much Saturday’s game stings, but that the Blazers can learn from this one.

A game that we should’ve won, let it slip through our hands. Now we gotta be better down the stretch with these last three games remaining. -- Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum

Portland will get a break Saturday though. Ben Simmons (left knee; patella subluxation) is out with looming knee procedure. The Sixers have also listed Glenn Robinson III (left hip; pointer) as questionable.

The Trail Blazers will now face the Sixers Sunday, the Mavericks Tuesday, and then round out their seeding games on Thursday with a matchup against the Nets.

Rip City knows that Lillard wants another crack at finishing off a team in the bubble and he most likely will get that shot. 

Damian Lillard & Paul George are feuding on social media after taunting

Damian Lillard & Paul George are feuding on social media after taunting

There was plenty of trashing talking during the Blazers-Clippers game Saturday.

Gary Trent Jr. was jawing at Paul George.

Damian Lillard and Patrick Beverley, who sat out of Saturday’s game, exchanged words multiple times.

And now, following the Clippers 122-1117 victory over the Blazers, Lillard and Paul George are continuing to have words for each other after the two left the arena.

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon with special guest Richard Jefferson].

Lillard, during his postgame interview, had plenty to say about Beverley and George taunting him with the tapping of the wrist and waving goodbye following his pair of missed free throws in crunch time.

PG did the wave because he was also surprised because he experienced being waved at last year… Let me say this, for one, I knew what happened. I expect myself to make those free throws and I didn’t when my team needed it, which was a failure for me that I can accept, but asking me about Patrick Beverley who I sent him home before at the end of a game. Paul George got sent home by me last year in the playoffs. So they know. The reason they reacting like that is because what they expect from me, which is a sign of respect and it just shows what I’ve done at a high clip more times than not. So, I’m not offended by it. If anything it should just tell you how much it hurt them to go through what I put them through in those situations previously. -- Damian Lillard

While George had this to say about the nature of Saturday’s game during his postgame interview:

“It’s competition,” George said. “It’s part of the game – it’s as simple as that. It’s a competition and some people can play and talk and some people can’t.”

Hmmm.... Some people can't, PG?

And, it didn’t stop there.

George had more to say to Lillard on social media after the game.

And you getting sent home this year. Respect – Paul George replying to a Bleacher Report Instagram post on Lillard’s postgame comments

To which Lillard responded with:

Keep switching teams… running from the grind. You boys is chumps. – Damian Lillard replying to Paul George on Instagram

And now, Beverley is getting in on the social media fun basically telling the Blazers to have fun on their upcoming vacation. 

As one would expect, NBA players and fans are grabbing their popcorn after this game.

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We know what time it is

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Damian Lillard comes up short late in a game -- twice -- how often does that happen?

Damian Lillard comes up short late in a game -- twice -- how often does that happen?

Damian Lillard tried all day to get to the foul line. He took 20 shots without getting a free throw. But then, when he had two of them with 18.6 seconds to play, his team down by a point and the game on the line, he missed them both.

That was unbelievable. 

As was the idea that the Trail Blazers were even in that spot. Portland led by five with 1:36 to go and the Clippers were playing with just one starter on the floor.

Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell didn’t even suit up. Paul George and Lou Williams did not take the floor down the stretch.

In the midst of a fight for the Nos. 8 and 9 spots in the Western Conference, the Trail Blazers were handed a gift.

And declined it, losing to Los Angeles 122-117.

Nobody could quite believe Lillard missed both free throws.

“Very surprised,” CJ McCollum said. “But just like I told him, it shouldn’t even have come down to that. We’ve got to do a better job of executing and putting them away earlier. Especially, going against most of their second-unit guys -- we’ve got to do a better job.”

The Trail Blazers have fallen into a pattern in these seeding games of relying on a spectacular offense that has covered for a leaky defense. But in the late going of this game, Portland didn’t run its offense efficiently, got poor shots as a result, and didn’t get stops or committed fouls at the defensive end.

“I was disappointed with both ends in the last few minutes,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “Defensively, we didn’t move around. Offensively, we didn’t get the shots we wanted, didn’t move the ball as well as we needed to and the shots we did get, we didn’t make.”

Lillard had given Portland a two-point lead with 41.2 seconds to go with a layup but the Clippers hijacked it at 26.1 with a three by Rodney McGruder -- a 27 percent three-point shooter for the season.

That set up Lillard’s empty trip to the free-throw line.

“They made the plays that we didn’t make,” Lillard said. “Every breakdown on the defensive end, they made us pay for it. They made shots, got rebounds and they got second and third opportunities.

“And then at our offensive end, we just didn’t execute very well. Once I got to the line, down one, I felt good about that, I said, ‘OK, we’re going to be up one.’ Come down, get a stop and then it’s a free-throw game.

“Left the first one short. And then left another one short. Sometimes, I guess that has to happen. Particularly at the end of the game, I always feel like I’m going to come up big. I’ve experienced so many of those moments. I guess sometimes you come up short.

“I left two free throws short. We lost a game we really needed to win and we’ve got another one tomorrow (against the Philadelphia 76ers).”

Both Beverley and George taunted Lillard at the end of the game.

“I didn’t see it, but I heard about it,” Lillard said. “That just shows what they expect from me down the stretch. They know what I do. (Beverley) saw it first hand when I was a second-year player and he was at Houston. I’m sure he has a great memory of that.

“PG had to wave, because he also was surprised because of what he experienced at the end of a game last year. Let me just say this, for one -- I know what happened. I expect myself to make those free throws. And I didn’t. The team needed it, which was a failure for me that I can accept.

“Asking me about Patrick Beverley, who I sent him home before at the end of a game, Paul George got sent home by me at the end of the playoffs. So they know their reaction is a sign of respect for me from what they expect from me at the end of a game.
“It just shows what I’ve done at a high clip more times than not. If anything, it should tell you how much it hurt them to know what I put them through in those situations.”

And don’t expect this to impact Lillard’s confidence level in similar situations.

“I’ve had some moments in my career when I was expected to do something at the end of the game and I didn’t,” he said “I don’t see myself as somebody who is going to hold onto it. I’m a shooter. I’ve been in these situations a lot and had some success. I’m in this situation all the time. It isn’t going to discourage me or make me any less confident. If anything, I’m looking at it like the next time, it’s going to go the other way,

“It bothers me. It hurts, because it was a game we would have loved to have. But as far as being on the floor and doing what I do, it won’t affect me at all.”

Damian Lillard has perfect clap back to Patrick Beverley, Clippers taunting

Damian Lillard has perfect clap back to Patrick Beverley, Clippers taunting

The tapping of the wrist...

The wave...

The NBA world knows that in crunch time it can always be Lillard Time. 

Trail Blazers five-time All-Star Damian Lillard has finished off teams in many memorable ways.

And thus, to have Lillard miss two free throws with 18.6 seconds remaining against the LA Clippers Saturday, many were stunned by the rare nature of Lillard missing down the stretch.

But for the Clippers, LA had fun taunting Lillard. Patrick Beverley, who sat out of Saturday’s game with a left calf strain, tapped his wrist loudly and yelled out "DOLLA Time" from the bench after Lillard missed the pair of clutch free throws.

Beverley has seen ‘Lillard Time’ first-hand while in Houston when the Trail Blazers had eliminated the Rockets from the first round thanks to Lillard’s “.9” shot back on May 2, 2014.

Lillard mentioned just that postgame.  

The Trail Blazers point guard said he didn’t see Beverley’s antics on the bench, but he heard about it.

After I missed the first one, I heard them over there yelling, I just think, to me that just shows what they expect from me down the stretch. They know what I do and he saw it firsthand when I was a second year player when he was in Houston, so I’m sure he has a great memory of that, which is why that drew that type of reaction from him when he saw me come up short at the end of the game. To me that’s all that says.  -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard 

But things really started earlier between Lillard and Beverley on Saturday. Lillard hit a step-back three-pointer late in the first quarter, turned to Beverley on the bench and mouthed: “I want you out here.” 

[Listen to the Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Richard Jefferson].

And, it wasn’t just Beverley getting in on the trash talking following Lillard’s free throws. Paul George also got in on the action.

PG13 was seen ‘waving' after Lillard’s missed free throws.  

Of course, George infamously called Lillard’s series clinching three over PG's extended arm in the Blazers and Thunder Western Conference semifinals series in 2019, 'a bad shot,' which is also known as The Wave since that was Lillard’s reaction immediately following that game-winner. 

PG did the wave because he was also surprised because he experienced being waved at last year… Let me say this, for one, I knew what happened. I expect myself to make those free throws and I didn’t when my team needed it, which was a failure for me that I can accept, but asking me about Patrick Beverley who I sent him home before at the end of a game. Paul George got sent home by me last year in the playoffs. So they know. The reason they reacting like that is because what they expect from me, which is a sign of respect and it just shows what I’ve done at a high clip more times than not. So, I’m not offended by it. If anything it should just tell you how much it hurt them to go through what I put them through in those situations previously. -- Damian Lillard

George had more to say to Lillard on social media after the game.

And you getting sent home this year. Respect – Paul George replying to a Bleacher Report Instagram post on Lillard’s postgame comments

BUT, it looks like Lillard might get the last word...

Of course, Lillard’s postgame response about Beverely trash-talking, tapping his wrist, and PG13 waving goodbye to the Blazers got social media talking as well:

Just as Lillard’s free throws clanked off the front of the iron, the Trail Blazers came up short, 122-117 to the Clippers Saturday.

Portland and Lillard have no time to hang their heads as the Blazers face the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday afternoon.

It seems Lillard Time will have to wait until later in the NBA restart.