‘God Mode’. Kevin Durant summed it up reverently. But Damian Lillard’s exhilarating performance wasn’t enough for Portland against the Denver Nuggets as they went down 147-140 in the fifth game.
Pundits were at a loss for words at Damian Lilliard’s brilliance for the length of the match. He ruled over all the 4 quarters, plus 2 overtime periods, and left fans and his opponents breathless.
But he could be one game away from missing a place in the finals.
Damian Lillard rode over the Nuggets’ defense. They tried all they could, but realized that he is unstoppable once he gets going. And that has been on display in 2014 against the Houston Rockets and again in 2019 against Oklahoma.
And there were 30-footers galore against them all in the Nuggets defense. There was Michael Porter Jr., Nikola Jokic, Austin Rivers.
Damian Lillard: A Tale Of Contradictions
He is up there with the best when it comes to a rare poise on the bigger stage. But then fate seems to stop him from the biggest one of all.
Michael Malone, the Nuggets coach described him as ‘Superman’. And he was, with 55 points from a mere 24 shots. And with 12 from deep that is a playoff record. With just a single turnover over 51 minutes, he provided an assist for McCollum to force an OT.
But in the end, none of his memorable shots translated into a winning result. McCollum lamented that this was one of Lillard’s best performances that went winless. The Nuggets have now gone up to 3-2.
It is Damian Lillard’s ninth season and we may well miss out on his epic performances in The Finals. And he has been truly unlucky to have missed out each time.
In the OTs Damian Lillard shot 6-for-8 and scored the closing 17 points for Portland.
But the neutral fan still holds hope that Lillard will help his team win the following two and take the series away from the Nuggets. And he is at his finest when he is down and sinking.