Delivering a win in a pressure-packed moment doesn't get much easier than this.
Down one with 11 seconds remaining in the game, Portland set up a simple high pick-and-roll with Lillard and All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The play freed Lillard easily, and he got right to the point, turning the corner to drive straight down the middle. No Suns defenders offered meaningful resistance and Lillard finished the play without any dramatics.
"It was uncontested, I got straight to the rim," Lillard said afterwards. "I missed a couple where I was right at the rim. That's when they count. When they get to that part of the game, I forget about everything else. I want to be in that situation and I'm glad to be able to execute."
It was a smooth ending to a rough shooting night for the 2013 Rookie of the Year, who finished with 11 points (on 4-for-13 shooting) and eight assists in 35 minutes. The play was aided by a spread formation that saw Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and Mo Williams stretch the defense by spotting up around the arc.
"When you put shooters on the court, it opens up the middle," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "Dame was aggressive, L.A. set a good screen, the sea parted."
Portland was led by a team-high 15 points (on 6-for-9 shooting) and eight rebounds from Thomas Robinson. Six Blazers scored in double figures.
Eric Bledsoe paced the Suns with 23 points (on 10-for-21 shooting) and six assists in the losing effort.
Portland improved to 6-2 with the win; Phoenix dropped to 5-3 with the loss.Video via YouTube user NBA