Blazers guard Damian Lillard hit a deep three-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining to beat the Cavaliers 119-116 in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Some game-winners are the result of intricate planning and some are simply stop-and-pop. Put this one in the latter category.
With 7.1 seconds remaining and the score tied at 116, Portland inbounded to Lillard, who began the possession by eating a little clock. Working in isolation against Alonzo Gee, Lillard waited until there were roughly four seconds remaining before he hit a little jab step and stepped back into a three-pointer that was well outside the arc. Lillard actually rose up from the outskirts of the Cavaliers' oversized "C" center court logo, but his shot still swished in easily. Blazers forward Nicolas Batum was so sure the three was going down that he raised his arm in the air and began walking back down the court before the play was complete.
Damian Lillard pulled up from way behind the three-point line. (Fox Sports Ohio)
"There's nothing to break down," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said, according to The Oregonian. "Damian had it going ... he had a special night. I thought it was appropriate that he finished it like that."
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Lillard, the 2013 Rookie of the Year, finished with a game-high 36 points (on 11-for-23 shooting), 10 assists and eight rebounds. He connected on a career-high eight three-pointers on 12 attempts from beyond the arc.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 26 points, 15 rebounds and four assists for the Blazers, who improved their league-leading record to 22-4.
Cleveland was led by 25 points each from Kyrie Irving
and Dion Waiters
. The Cavaliers fell to 9-15 with the loss.