Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard demanded "respect" after he dropped 61 points on the Dallas Mavericks to lead his team to a crucial win as now their hopes of making the playoffs are still alive. Lillard fired a three-pointer from 33 feet -- which caromed off the back rim and shot straight up into the air -- but eventually went it and it gave Lillard 61 points for the night and the Trail Blazers a 134-131 win.
After hitting a clutch dagger Lillard could have been heard yelling, as quoted on ESPN: "Put some respect on my f---ing name." Over the weekend, the Trail Blazers fell short against the Los Angeles Clippers and Lillard received the most blame and some went as far as to say that the guard wasn't the type of player many think he was.
Lillard missed a pair of three throws with less than 20 second to go against the Clippers and later missed a potential game-tying three-pointer. The following day Lillard scored 51 points to lead the Trail Blazers past the Philadelphia 76ers, before he tied a career-high of 61 points against the Mavericks.
Lillard focuses on the Brooklyn Nets
The Trail Blazers are 5-2 in the bubble and now their playoff fate is in their hands as they have to beat the Nets in their last regular season game. "That's the most important game of our lives," Lillard told TNT in an on-court interview after the game, looking ahead to Thursday's game against the Nets.
"Tonight was great. We said we need one win. We're going to focus on one game. We got this one done. And that's the most important one. We got to finish it out right." CJ McCollum, the second leading scorer on the Trail Blazers team, scored only eight points but Lillard acknowledged the guard wasn't at his best but still decided to play.
"He's a little bit banged up," Lillard said of McCollum. "He's making no excuses or looking for no way out. He's thugging it out for the team and being out there for us." Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said post-game: "Nobody wanted to come into this bubble and make the playoffs more than Dame.
And we've got one more game to go, but his leadership -- obviously, his game speaks for itself -- but he's bringing the team along with him."