PORTLAND, Ore. — No discourtesy to the Utah Jazz, but Damian Lillard said scoring 60 points against them was reasonably simple. Not easy, conscionable simple.
Lillard had a season-high 60 points, hitting 9 3-pointers, and the Portland Trail Blazers bushed the Jazz 134-124 connected Wednesday night.
Lillard tied for the second-most points successful the NBA this season. Donovan Mitchell had 71 successful an overtime crippled for Cleveland against Chicago connected Jan. 3, and Luka Doncic scored 60 successful Dallas’ OT triumph implicit New York connected Dec. 27.
“I deliberation immoderate clip you people 60 points it’s special, but I deliberation this 1 I conscionable felt similar it came beauteous simple,” Lillard said. “I thought I played the crippled arsenic it should’ve been played. I knew we needed to triumph truthful I came retired with a mentality to onslaught and beryllium aggressive, but it wasn’t similar I conscionable came retired connected fire. It wasn’t 1 of those games.”
Jerami Grant added 19 points to assistance Portland triumph its 2nd consecutive game.
Lauri Markkanen led the Jazz with 24 points. He had a layup followed by a extremity changeable with 5:20 near that got Utah to 115-108.
Grant and Anfernee Simons had back-to-back dunks to enactment Portland up 121-110 and the Blazers led comfortably the remainder of the way.
When Lillard came to the free-throw enactment precocious successful the game, the location assemblage stood and chanted “MVP! “MVP!” Lillard deed some escaped throws to scope 60, but missed a jumper from region with 29.1 seconds near that would person topped his vocation champion 61.
He wasn’t adjacent alert helium was adjacent his vocation precocious until Blazers manager Chauncey Billups fto him cognize aft those escaped throws. Lillard thought helium was coming out.
“Next clip I came down they double-teamed maine and I conscionable roseate up for 3 existent speedy and past they came down and scored,” Lillard said. “There was inactive clip connected the clock, but I wasn’t going to beryllium that thirsty to travel backmost down with that overmuch clip successful the crippled conscionable to get a vocation high.”
Lillard has 4 vocation games of 60 points oregon more. He’s reached 61 twice.
Jazz manager Will Harvey was asked what Utah could person done to halt Lillard aft double-teaming him for overmuch of the game.
“I conjecture successful mentation we could person sent 3 radical astatine him,” Harvey quipped.
After struggling for overmuch of January, the Blazers were coming disconnected a morale-boosting 147-127 triumph implicit San Antonio connected Monday.
Lillard finished 21 of 29 from the field, 9 of 15 connected 3s and 9 of 10 astatine the line. He besides had 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals.
During the 3rd 4th Lillard scored 20 consecutive Portland points.
“You conscionable benignant of beryllium backmost and conscionable bask it,” Blazers teammate Nassir Little said astir watching Lillard scope 60. “Marvel astatine his greatness.”
Lillard is among conscionable 5 NBA players with 4 oregon much 60-point games. Wilt Chamberlain leads the database with 32, followed by Kobe Bryant with six. Lillard, James Harden and Michael Jordan each person four.
“I ain’t catching Wilt,” Lillard laughed.