By Ben Golliver
January 22, 2013


By Ben Golliver

Blazers guard Damian Lillard, the early favorite for Rookie of the Year, is blessed with what they call "sneaky hops." Lillard doesn't have the explosiveness of a Russell Westbrook or the freakish athleticism of an Eric Bledsoe, but he steadily finds a way to create his share of highlights around the rim.

With a little more than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a 98-95 loss to the Wizards, Lillard turned the corner on John Wall and directly attacked the paint, rising past Brazilian big man Nene to finish a one-hand stuff. This wasn't quite a full-on poster, but the image of the 6-foot-3 Lillard stuffing on the  6-foot-11 Nene was still impressive.

The dunk cut Washington's lead to one, 91-90, and came at the end of a 12-point fourth quarter for Lillard, who finished with 18 points and five assists. Wizards guard Jordan Crawford delivered a step-back, buzzer-beating three-pointer to give Washington its ninth win of the season.

The Wizards improved to 9-30; the Blazers dropped to 20-21.

Lillard's dunk was great but it doesn't quite make the "Dunk of the Year" conversation, which includes: Kevin Durant over Marcin Gortat, Gerald Henderson over Dwight HowardByron Mullens over LaMarcus AldridgeJeff Green over Al Jefferson and Harrison Barnes over Nikola Pekovic.

Video via YouTube user NBA

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