Over the years, Damian Lillard has cemented his legacy as one of the coldest players in the game.
Sometimes he’s delivering game winners in the playoffs—like his 0.9 dagger over the Houston Rockets, or his 37-footer vs. OKC that waved Paul George and Russell Westbrook out of the playoffs. There's also a compilation of his clutchest shots vs. every team in the NBA.
But on Wednesday in Portland’s 28th game of the season and second night of a back-to-back, Lillard was all about taking care of business as usual. With the Blazers trailing the New Orleans Pelicans 124-123 with 20.5 seconds remaining in the game, the clock struck Lillard Time.
The Trail Blazers star drove to the basket for the bucket and the and-1 that eventually sealed Portland’s 126-124 victory and sixth-straight win of the season.
“Is there any one guy that’s more clutch than Dame D.O.L.L.A.?” David Fizdale asked. The answer is no.
According to ESPN’s The Jump, the Trail Blazers star leads the NBA with the most game-tying, go-ahead field goals in the final 20 seconds since 2012-13. Joining Lillard is Westbrook with 21 and DeMar DeRozan with 17.
StatMuse bolstered that argument adding that Lillard has been in the clutch with 5-point games in the last 5-minutes. The numbers certainly tell a compelling story.
And then there's Dame's clutch points this season:
En route to the Trail Blazers victory over the Pelicans, Lillard notched 43 points, dished out 16 assists and hit seven 3-pointers. He also became the first Trail Blazer to record a 40-point, 15-assist game since Clyde Drexler in 1986.
Lillard really is not human, and his name certainly deserves to be in the mix for the NBA's Most Valuable Player conversation. Since Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum have been out of the lineup, Lillard has averaged 35.6 points and 8.6 assists while shooting 46/39/93% and leading his team to a 9-5 record including six-consecutive victories.
In the words of CJ McCollum, Lillard really “serving cheat code style like he playing mortal Kombat.” We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Need any further proof?
See for yourself!