Damian Lillard turned in a playoff masterpiece in Game 5 against the Denver Nuggets, taking 'Dame Time' to another level with a string of clutch shots to keep the Portland Trail Blazers in the game.
They eventually went on to lose 147-140 in double overtime, but not through Lillard's lack of trying.
He finished with 55 points and 10 assists, including 12 3-pointers, making it the first 55-point, 10-assist game in NBA playoff history
Damian Lillard is the first player in NBA history with at least 50 points, 10 assists and 10 three-pointers in a game, regular season or playoffs. pic.twitter.com/k4bXNY4ndv- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 2, 2021
After powering the Blazers back into the game from a 22-point first-half deficit, he sent it into overtime with this dagger triple at the end of regulation, with his team down by three.
ICE COLD pic.twitter.com/amxleOeklt- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) June 2, 2021
Then, when it looked like the Nuggets had done enough in overtime, he came up clutch AGAIN, with yet another 3-pointer to force double-overtime.
DAMIAN LILLARD IS AMAZING SEND TWEET pic.twitter.com/p3pUDzu7n0- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) June 2, 2021
He was the Blazers' lone hope in the extra periods, scoring 17 of their 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting, with his teammates combining to go 1-of-14.
He fell just short of dragging his squad to an iconic playoff victory, but Lillard has treated us to plenty of moments over the years, that make you think 'How on earth did he do that?'
So without further adieu, it's time to re-visit the wildest shots of his career.
*This list could easily have been 15 shots long, but we'll go for the top 5.
1. The Wave vs OKC - 2019 Playoffs
Does it get better than this??
Years later even Paul George admitted it was a good shot.
Perhaps the most iconic in his arsenal, Lillard sent the Oklahoma City Thunder home in the first round of the 2019 playoffs, pulling up from 37 feet to break the tie and send the Blazers into the second round.
I don't know what was colder, the shot or the wave celebration.
2. Goodnight Houston - 2014 Playoffs
Lillard's first series-ending buzzer-beater came back in 2014, announcing his arrival in the playoffs in just his second season in the league.
With the Blazers trailing 98-96 and facing the prospect of going to Houston for Game 7, Lillard took matters into his own hands with 0.9 seconds to go, curling to the 3-point line and clinching the series with the dagger.
That shot gave the Blazers their first playoff series win in 14 years.
3. Dame Time vs. Bulls - 2021 regular season
The Blazers simply had no right to win this game.
Then Damian Lillard happened.
Trailing by five points with 11.5 seconds to go, Lillard hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two points and after forcing a jump ball on the ensuing possession, Lillard corralled the loose ball and drilled a playground fadeaway to put the Blazers up 123-122 at the buzzer.
His final shot was his eighth 3-pointer of the game to give him 44 points and the W.
4. Lillard gives Warriors the Curry treatment - 2018
The degree of difficulty puts this one on the list for me.
On the road against the Golden State Warriors juggernaut, the Blazers had lost 12 straight at Oracle Arena in the regular season and playoffs before this shot.
After being turned away at the rim, Lillard recovered, moved along the baseline and got 'free'.... or as free as he needs to be, rising up over Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Draymond Green for the win.
A kid from Oakland doing that against perhaps one of the greatest teams ever assembled in their building. Priceless.
5. Father stretch my hands - Dame sinks Lakers in 2017
Against the outstretched arms of 6'9" Brandon Ingram, whose wingspan sits at 7'3", nobody should really be able to get this shot off.
Lillard sized up Ingram with a series of dribbles before going to his patented sidestep and ending the game with 0.7 on the clock.
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