In one of the most electrifying postseason performances ever, Damian Lillard had 55 points and an NBA playoff record 12 3-pointers in the Portland Trail Blazers’ double-overtime loss to the Nuggets in Game 5 on Tuesday night in Denver.
Lillard broke the record of 11 set by the Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson in 2016 in Game 6 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Lillard played 50 minutes and shot 17-of-24 from the field, including 12-of-17 from 3-point range, but it wasn’t enough as the Nuggets held him off in the second overtime and won 147-140 to take a 3-2 series lead.
“Damian Lillard was superhuman tonight,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.
The record-breaking 3 came with 3 minutes, 47 seconds left in double overtime as Lillard bombarded the Nuggets with a series of deep step-backs to keep the Blazers in the game. He hit one to tie the score with 3.7 seconds in regulation, which came after a review overturned a foul on a 3 that would’ve given Lillard three free throws. He hit another in the first overtime with 6.6 seconds over the 6-foot-10 Michael Porter Jr. to tie the score again and force the second extra frame.
That one completed a nine-point comeback in the final two minutes, all led by Lillard.
It was quite the bounce-back for Lillard, who scored just 10 points on 1-of-10 shooting in Game 4. But the Blazers blew Denver out in Game 4 behind a strong defensive performance and balanced scoring.
In Game 5, Portland couldn’t find answers for likely MVP Nikola Jokic, who finished with 38 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists, and a stronger bench performance led by Monte Morris (28 points and 5 assists).
The series turns back to Portland on Thursday for Game 6.