WATCH: Damian Lillard torches Heat with season-high 49 points, including nine 3s
Damian Lillard has been scoring well all season long, with his 26.5 points per game on pace to be a career high, but he’s been absolutely on fire since the All-Star break. Perhaps using the fact that he once again wasn’t selected as an All-Star as motivation, Lillard has been filling it up since the mid-season hiatus, putting up 29.8 points per game in that timespan coming into Sunday’s matchup against the Heat. Only Russell Westbrook, at 34.5 points per game, has been scoring more than Lillard since All-Star Weekend.
On Sunday, Lillard turned things up a notch, pouring in a season-high 49 points and tying a career-high with nine 3-pointers as the Blazers secured an important 115-104 win over the Heat. It was a brilliantly efficient performance from Lillard, who went 14-of-21 from the field, including 9-of-12 from downtown, becoming the first Trail Blazer to ever knock down 1,000 career 3-pointers, and the first player to put up 49 points on 21 or less shots since Amar’e Stoudemire nearly 10 years ago.
The big performance from Lillard came at a crucial time for the Blazers, who are trying to claw their way back into the playoff picture. After Sunday’s win, the team’s third in a row, Portland is now just one game behind Denver for the eighth seed in the West.