Dame Lillard is the epitome of clutch.
Just like he has so many times before, the star point guard sent the opposition packing with a stunning game-winner on Saturday night. But, he didn't just win the game for the Portland Trail Blazers -- he put them in position to do so as well.
Down five with with eight seconds remaining, Lillard pulled up from as far out as the Chicago Bulls midcourt logo and drilled a contested three-point shot to draw the lead to just two. On the following play, Portland forced a jump ball on their side of the court. Much to the Bulls dismay, a loose ball found its way into the hands of Lillard with just two seconds remaining.
The rest was history.
Lillard corralled the ball and hit a wild fadeaway shot over Chicago's Lauri Markkanen as the buzzer expired.
Here's some video of the incredible sequence of events:
After notching his highest points per game total last year (30), Lillard has continued that success into the 2020-21 season -- averaging 28.8 points and 7.1 assists per game. Tonight's performance was well above that standard. Through 36 minutes in a 123-122 win over Chicago, Lillard collected 44 points, nine assists and five rebounds in addition to his late-game heroics. While "Dame Time" has been around for quite some time now, Lillard's recent clutch stats have been seemingly more impressive than ever. In last year's NBA playoff bubble, the star PG led all players in clutch time (final 5 minutes, deficit 5 or less) with 36 points, 10 assists and 40 shot attempts. Behind their clutch leader, the Trail Blazers are off to a solid 10-8 start. If he can continue this level of play, Lillard should have his team in playoff position by the end of the season. [
This is the buzzer beater... the shot above was what put them in position to win the game... All of it Dame time.
— Cassidy Hubbarth (@CassidyHubbarth) January 31, 2021