Just days after Damian Lillard lost a classic 43-point performance against the Hornets, the 6-foot-2 point guard was in shape once again when the Trail Blazers took on the Pelicans in New Orleans.
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He went for 39 points, tied for his second-highest record this season, on 13 of 24 shots from the field, including 6 of 11 from beyond the arc as he continued his recent red-hot streak.
Give me the last 3 games:
– StatMuse (@statmuse) December 22, 2023
However, the highest score in the game was not enough to lead Portland’s squad to victory. With six minutes to go, the Trail Blazers were close behind, trailing only two (93-91).
Despite being so close, they had no response for the Pelicans’ 19-6 run to end the game with Nickeil Alexander-Walker scoring seven of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as part of the race.
NAW really sorry at the moment: up to 23 points (5-7 of 3️⃣) pic.twitter.com/HfYUFjDT9C
– New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 22, 2023
Meanwhile, Lillard, who is known for taking over late with “Dame Time,” only had two points in the final six minutes and seemed frustrated with the refereeing. He received both of his techniques in the span of the final two minutes of the game, ultimately leading to the first ejection of his career.
.@Dame_Lillard he was sent off for the first time in his career … with 1.2 seconds left.
– Jay Allen (@PDXjay) December 22, 2023
Entering this contest, the six-time All-Star had received 29 techniques in his career, but was never called up for two in the same game, leading to an expulsion.
This was Lillard’s 708 game of the regular season. His 707-game tally over 10 seasons is far from the largest in NBA history, but it’s still a sizable number.