They did it!
In the final game of the regular season, the Blazers clinched a playoff berth with a 132-116 win over the Denver Nuggets and avoided the play-in tournament.
For the Blazers, the stakes were high, but for one Blazers fan, they were even higher.
Back on April 18, a fan by the name of @LordTreeSap penned a Twitter post to Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard saying that he needed Portland to win 42 games this season or he would lose his house.
The six-time NBA All-Star tweeted in response, “Say less.”
"Say less" can mean a variety of things, but in this instance, Lillard is essentially saying, "I got you."
However, the games that followed didn’t look good for @LordTreeSap. The Blazers went on a five-game skid as April came to a close, prompting Lillard and his teammates to make an honest assessment about their struggles.
“We have to look in the mirror, and you gotta look at it,” Lillard said. “You have to look at the games we’ve won, and you have to look at the games we’ve struggled in. The games we’ve struggled in have been against the top-level competition. I don’t think it’s hard to see. I’m not saying nothing that’s not obvious.
“I think for us, the first step is just acknowledging the fact that’s the truth. And just being sharper, and locked in, and just taking that to heart. Having some pride about the fact that we don’t play well against the top-level teams. We have to take that to heart … have something prove. Have some pride about those games. I think that’s the start.”
Since the Blazers star’s gutsy confession, Portland got red hot, winning 10 of the last 12 games. The Blazers came up just short of their 42nd win vs. the Suns, who spoiled the Blazers shot at clinching playoff berth on Thursday night.
But on Sunday vs. Denver, Lillard came through in clutch time, delivering a 22-point, 10-assist performance en route to Portland’s 42nd win!
Needless to say, everyone was excited to see the Blazers clinch the 6-seed as the NBA playoffs draw near. For @LordTreeSap, he was celebrating something much more.
The only problem was, the whole thing turned out to be a lie. When Lillard asked for proof, the bettor revealed his wager to be far less than the value of a house. What a shame!
Still, Lillard was a man of his word even if the bettor wasn't.