);
Portland Trail Blazers

This Date in NBA History (May 2): Damian Lillard's Game 6 buzzer-beating series-clincher vs. Houston Rockets in 2014 & more

On May 2nd in 2014, Damian Lillard knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer in Game 6 to help the Portland Trail Blazers eliminate the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2014 Playoffs.

Not only was this shot Lillard's first game-winning buzzer-beater of his career, but more importantly, this shot helped the franchise advance to the Conference Semifinals for the first time in 14 years.

Since 2000, when the Blazers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the Conference Finals, the franchise had made six playoff appearances but each time, they were eliminated in the first-round (2001, 02, 03, 09, 2010, 2011).

Here's a look at that famous shot from underneath the basket, providing a unique angle:

Prior to the shot, the Trail Blazers were coming out of a timeout down by two (98-96) with 0.9 seconds remaining. Nicolas Batum inbounded the ball to Lillard, who curled from the opposite wing using a double screen by Mo Williams and Wesley Matthews, to knock down the game-winning three over the outstretched arm of Chandler Parsons.

This shot, his only made field goal of the fourth quarter, gave Lillard 25 points for the game (8-of-14 FG; 6-of-10 3PT). LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 30 points, while the Rockets were led by James Harden and Dwight Howard, the duo combining for 60 of the visitor's 98 points.

Despite multiple clutch shots over his career, Lillard only has two career game-winning buzzer-beaters and coincidentally both are were series-clinchers.

Other notable events on May 2nd

  • In 1968, Bill Russell won his first NBA Championship as player-coach as the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 124-109 in Game 6 of the Finals. This was the franchise's 10th championship, all in the span of 11 years.

Notable Playoff eliminations on May 2nd

  • In 2015, Chris Paul banked in a clutch shot, which was eventually the series-clincher, to help the Los Angeles Clippers win Game 7, 111-109 and eliminate the defending champion San Antonio Spurs 4-3 in the first round.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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