Damian Lillard left Wednesday night at the Moda Center.
Lillard poured in a season-high 60 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 134-124 victory over the Utah Jazz after a wild third-quarter scoring outburst. He narrowly missed his career-best 61 points, however, after a late 3-pointer fell short.
Lillard now has 15 career 50-point games, the sixth-most in league history. Wednesday also marked the fourth game in which he has scored 60 points or better, which is the third most in NBA history. It’s also the third 60-point game in the entire league this season, following 71 from Cleveland Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell and 60 from Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic.
Lillard entered halftime with 26 points in what was a close game with the Jazz. However, it was the third quarter that finally pushed the Trail Blazers ahead. Lillard put up 24 of his 60 points in that frame, and had 50 with a full minute left in the period. He shut down that scoring streak while also putting up 20 straight points for the Trail Blazers.
Now, it took some Lillard to add to that total. He sat the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, then hit a fadeaway shot from the short corner near the halfway mark to make it 52. He slowly added to it over the coming minutes, hitting the 60-point mark with about 90 seconds left while at the free throw line – putting Portland up 14.
At that point, with the game out of reach, Utah began pulling its starters. Lillard got one last look at a 3-pointer, which would have set his career high, but he was just off the mark.
Lillard finished 21-of-29 from the field and 9-of-15 from behind the arc. He added eight assists and seven rebounds.
Lauri Markkanen led the Jazz with 24 points and four rebounds, and Collin Sexton finished with 19 points off the bench. The Jazz have lost two of their last three and are now 25-26 on the season.
Jerami Grant added 19 points and five rebounds for the Trail Blazers in the win, and Anfernee Simons finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. Jusuf Nurkic was the only other Portland player to score in double figures with his 10 points.