Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard had one of the most prolific shooting performances of his career against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night and given his track record, that’s saying something.

In 29 minutes of action, Lillard connected on 11 of 17 shots from beyond the arc. In the process, he tied both the Blazers franchise mark and his own personal best, which he matched in the regular season twice previously. Additionally, Lillard’s 11 triples are tied for the fourth-most made 3’s in a single game in league history. Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson owns the record with the 14 he hit against the Chicago Bulls back in 2018. 

Lillard finished his night with 38 points, along with three assists and two rebounds, and he was clearly the star of the night in Portland’s convincing 133-112 win. Lillard was so productive through the first three-quarters of the contest that he didn’t even have to leave the bench in the final frame. Had the game been closer over those final 12 minutes, Lillard likely would have had a real shot at trying, or even breaking, Thompson’s mark. Blazers fans certainly wanted to see Lillard get some shots up down the stretch, and at least one NBA star was among them. Nets forward Kevin Durant took to Twitter to urge the Blazers not to sit Lillard in order to allow him to chase history.

Ultimately though, Lillard’s long-term health took precedence over his pursuit of history. Plus, he still put on a pretty sweet show. With his production from long range, Lillard became just the second player in NBA history to have three games with 11 or more made threes, per status. Warriors guard Steph Curry is the only other player to have accomplished that feat. 

Lillard has long established himself as one of the league’s most elite marksmen, so his output against the Timberwolves isn’t necessarily surprising, but it is still extremely impressive nonetheless. Lillard’s ability to make defenses pay from the perimeter is one of the biggest reasons that Portland has been a factor in the Western Conference in recent years, and this season is no different. The Trail Blazers (15-12) will continue to need big-time performances from their star guard if they’re going to make any real noise this season. 

Source: CBS Sports

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