Lillard said during an appearance on the Pull Up Podcast that “if anything, it was bad defense:”
Goosebumps. Dame_Lillard on the shot heard round the word
The Blazers star seemed to catch George, who was playing man defense on the four-time All-Star selection, off guard in the final seconds of Game 5 as he dribbled out near the half-court line while the time ticked down before pulling up from 37 feet for the win.
Although it wasn’t a traditional play—old-school thinking would suggest attacking the rim seeking a layup or foul in a tie game—it’s far less surprising in the modern, three-centric NBA.
Lillard’s long-range dagger pushed Portland through to the Western Conference’s second round, where it face either the No. 2 seed Denver Nuggets or No. 7 seed San Antonio Spurs. Those teams will play Game 7 on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, OKC was knocked out of the postseason in the opening round for the third straight year.
Lillard continuing his red-hot play will be key to Portland advancing to the conference finals. He averaged 33.0 points, 6.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals during the Thunder series.