Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard acknowledged it's extremely hard to beat the Los Angeles Lakers when they "live at the free throw line." The Lakers shot 43 free throws against the Trail Blazers and made 28 of them en route to securing a 116-108 win in Game 3.
Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers shot only 19 free throws but made 18. "The discrepancy in free throws is something that's out of our control," Lillard said after Game 3, per ESPN. "Last game, we came out, [and] they played a really physical game.
They played a really aggressive game. That led to a blowout victory for them. "Tonight, we came in saying we weren't going to get bullied and let them out-physical and out-aggressiveness us, and maybe sometimes we did foul, but they're a physical team as well.
When a team is living at the free throw line like they did tonight as a team, it's going to be hard to win a game against a team that's as good as they are."
Lillard admitted he felt discomfort
Lillard dislocated his left index finger in Game 3 but played in Game 3 and dropped 34 points, grabbed five rebounds and had seven assists.
"Obviously, I dislocated it, so it's going to have some effect on ballhandling," Lillard said of his finger. "Tonight, the biggest thing I felt was just going up to shoot, when I was gathering the ball, I was uncomfortable.
Sometimes I would subconsciously try to ease up on it, so I would lose the ball a little bit. When I was making moves, in the middle of my dribble, I would ease up on it because I would feel the pain, and I would lose the ball a little bit.
It kind of stopped me in my tracks. I did as much treatment as I could, and I tried to just ignore it. But once you decide to step out there, it is what it is." The eighth-seeded Trail Blazers shocked the first-seeded Lakers in Game 1 but the team from Los Angeles then won the following two games to take a 2-1 lead.
Lillard says he has been "worse situations" and he definitely believes his team still has a shot at winning the series. "I've been in worse situations in a series," Lillard said. "We've got to get the next game. We get the next one, and it's a tied series. That's perfectly fine with me."