Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard delivered yet another clutch performance on Wednesday night and his team picked up its sixth consecutive win. On Wednesday night in New Orleans, Lillard scored a game-high 43 points and dished out 16 assists as the Trail Blazers edged out the New Orleans Pelicans 124-123.
The Trail Blazers are missing CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins but still they have eight of their last nine games. "I think the beauty in what we're doing right now and why it's been so fun and so special, like last season, I had a run where for 10 games I was scoring like 48 a game, and then the bubble I was scoring 48, 50, 60, just having big performances but we weren't playing that great," Lillard said, per ESPN.
"We weren't getting stops. We weren't moving the ball. It wasn't as collective as it is right now. ... Everybody is coming in and doing their job. I'm not just saying that to give people credit. It looks the way it does because everybody is coming in and doing their job.
Without CJ, Nurk and Zach, we don't win these games if it's not collective the way it's been." Lillard claims the Trail Blazers are 'locked in' The Trail Blazers didn't make a perfect start to the season, and then the injuries happened, but they have managed to regroup and start playing good basketball.
"I think lately we're just locked into it," Lillard said. "We're a lot sharper for longer periods of times. Teams go on runs, it happens, we'll have a lapse here like every team does. Tonight, I thought we played really hard and physical and smart defensively and they had 124 points.
I just think our urgency is up. We're communicating. We're taking a challenge. Every guy is committing to playing defense and giving that effort. "The numbers don't favor us, but we've always had the effort," Lillard added.
"I said that earlier in the season. We just always haven't been on the same page communication-wise." The Trail Blazers did a good job of scouting the Pelicans prior to the game and it paid off. "We scouted some of their end-of-games plays and they kind of mix it up, like the previous play they went to Zion," Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said. "You knew it was going to be in one of their two hands."