Blazers’ Damian Lillard posts career-high 71 points in win over Rockets

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Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard had yet another earth-shattering performance Sunday night against the Houston Rockets, becoming the eighth player in NBA history to record 70 or more points in a game. 

Lillard was unconscious versus the Rockets, finishing 22-of-38 shooting from the field, and 13-of-22 from 3-point range, to dwarf his original career best of 61 with 71 points in a 131-114 Blazers’ victory. 

Per Statmuse, Lillard’s fifth game of 60 or more points moves him ahead of James Harden and Michael Jordan for third all-time. Lillard trails only Kobe Bryant (6) and Wilt Chamberlain (32) for the all-time lead. 

Lillard wasted little time making an impact Sunday night, posting a historic first-half performance. Powered by 41-points from Lillard, the Blazers took a 73-58 lead over the Rockets at halftime. 

According to ESPN Stats and Info, Lillard is only the third player over the last 25 seasons to score 41 or more points in a half, joining Kyrie Irving (41) and the late Bryant (42). 

The 32-year-old is only the second player to record 41-plus points and eight or more 3-pointers in a first half, joining Bryant, who accomplished the feat in 2003, per the NBA

Lillard’s remarkable performance against the Rockets is one of many from seven-time All-Star this year. 

Back in January, Lillard equaled a then-career-high 60 points against the Utah Jazz, nearly two weeks removed from a 50-point effort versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

If the Trail Blazers hope to make the postseason, they’ll likely need more of the same from Lillard down the stretch. 

With a win over the Rockets, the Blazers (29-31) move within a half-game of the New Orleans Pelicans (30-31) for the Western Conference’s final play-in spot.

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