Damian Lillard’s Game 2 against the Nuggets was historic for many reasons.
He joined a small group of players with multiple playoff games with at least 40 points and 10 assists and became the only player in league history with at least five three-pointers in consecutive games to begin a series.
Lillard hit nine three-pointers in the second game, including eight in the first half, tying a 20-year record held by Vince Carter.
Carter set the record on May 11, 2001 in Game 3 of the Raptors' Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Carter was clearly in the zone!
He went 8 for 9 from distance in the first half, tallying 34 of his 50(!!!) points before the break and finished the game 9 for 13 from distance.
Now, 20 years later, Lillard challenged that record, only to finish in a tie.
“When you’re in a zone, particularly from three, and I wasn’t shooting from the distance that Dame was shooting in that game,” Carter said. “It was a great moment. I needed it. That’s what I needed to do for my team. I know what Dame was going through that night, just unbelievable. How do you guard a logo three? I don’t know how.”
Lillard finished his night 9 for 16 from three-point range, scoring 42 points.
Carter asks a question no NBA team has yet to solve on deep threes.
Lillard has mastered deep shots and the threat of him pulling up from near the logo or just at the line adds to the danger he is on the court, and adds to the complication opposing defenses have trying to stop him.
HOW DO YOU STOP THAT?!
Like Carter, Lillard is doing what he can to lead his team to a playoff win and can only do so much. He currently leads the playoffs in points per game (38.0), three’s per game (7), and total three’s (14).
During the regular-season, Lillard shot 34.5% on shots 30-34 feet and 42.9% on shots 35-39 feet.
Lillard will have another chance to show out on Thursday when the Trail Blazers take on the Nuggets in Game 3.