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“I think we could have sent three people after him,” he said. Lillard scores 60 as Blazers Beat Jazz


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SALT LAKE CITY — Everyone You already knew Damian Lillard he was pulling up.

It He was kept safe, it didn’t matter. Or He was only 35 feet away from the rim. Or There were still 15 seconds left on the shot clock. At This late point in the third-quarter, if Lillard Could see the rim. It was a good shot.

So The only surprise was then when Lillard picked up his dribble and let the deep 3-pointer fly — and it missed. That This was an uncommon find Wednesday Nacht in Portland.

The Former Weber State guard scored 60 points during the Trail Blazers The top of the Jazz 134-124 Moda Center In Portland, Oregon. Lillard He made 21-of-29 field goals and scored nine 3-pointers, just 2 points away from his career high. At He scored 20 consecutive points during the game. Blazers.

“I think any time you score 60 points it’s special, but I think this one I just felt like it came pretty simple,” Lillard said. “I thought I played the game as it should’ve been played. I knew we needed to win, so I came out with a mentality to attack and be aggressive, but it wasn’t like I just came out on fire. It wasn’t one of those games.”

He’ll You won’t find any argument against Jazz coach Will Hardy.

“I guess, in theory, we could have sent three people after him. I’m not sure that would have worked either,” Hardy deadpanned.

That It was a praise. LillardHe split easily into two teams, was quick to escape traps and found open guys in rare instances. Jazz He managed to grab the ball. But He also gave a sharp critique of his own team.

Yes, Lillard It was amazing. Scoring 60 points is still noteworthy, even with all the scoring outbursts this season. The JazzHowever, it didn’t make the cut. Lillard’s Life can be very difficult.

Utah It started with drop coverage but eventually moved to full coverage. Lillard Open shots were found Utah defenders died on screens. So The Counter is the Jazz Send doubles to the perennial All-Star. The Problem was, however, that the timings of doubles were often off and the traps often ineffective.

“We did not do a good enough job with our pickup points on Lillard,” Hardy said. “And then we were almost double teaming in the entire game, and he found a way to go away from the double, split to double, so I just don’t think we were very detailed in our execution of the double teams.”

Heck, Hardy Thinks that may have been an even bigger opportunity for him. Instead He was hitting pick and rolls with 3s, but suddenly he was playing doubles and had the entire court to himself.

“I feel like he scored more points once we started doing that than then the first way. … In some ways, it may have opened up a lot of other things,” Hardy said. “So he’s a tough player to double team because he doesn’t just give into it, and he gets really low with his dribble.”

It Was reminiscent of Kyrie Iriving It was Utah Last week, he scored 48 points in an a Brooklyn Nets Win over Utah — showing the Jazz That game was not a learning experience for me.

With The star shining Lillard The first player to score more than 50 points against the opponent in history Jazz You can do it three times. That’s For a former rapper, it is poetic “The Jazz up the road, I wanna play for Jerry Sloan.”

The Jazz The lead was 31-19 after the first quarter. However, it was all Blazers Afterwards. Portland For some separation, 83 points were scored in the second and third quarters. Lillard The second quarter saw 17 points, and the game was over. Jazz For 24 points in the third period.

“We came out strong. We knew how important the game was especially for the standings. And we kind of let off the gas,” Malik Beasley said.

The Jazz It dropped to a 25-26 year record and fell to 10th place in the Western Conference standings — though they remain just two games out of fourth and home court advantage.

But The Jazz let up — at least defensively (Utah tied its season high with 20 made 3s) — Lillard They took over. The Former Wildcat Before the fourth quarter began, star had 50 points.

In The rarest of cases Jazz He was forced to release the ball from his hands and it led even to easy dunks. Lillard To go along with his big scoring night, he had seven rebounds as well as eight assists.

The Jazz The lead was cut to seven with just five minutes remaining. Portland To win the game, he answered with an 8-0 run that included three wide-open dunks at rim.

“We weren’t getting matched up, we weren’t communicating and didn’t protect the basket,” Hardy said.

And They didn’t win the match.

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