Dame Time is here, leading to some strong declarations from Trail Blazers Coach Chauncey Billups.
Damian Lillard scored 41 points, and Jerami Grant (16 points) put on the finishing touches with a game-clinching layup to help Portland hold off the Lakers, 106-104, on Sunday. The clutch win continues Portland’s (3-0) stay unbeaten while the Lakers are still searching for their first win of the season under Coach Darvin Ham.
Portland was down on its luck 102-85 with 1:56 left to go in the game. The Trail Blazers won after a late 11-2 run over those final 110 seconds. What’s been most impressive is Lillard’s fourth-quarter performance (12 points) over the final 5:06 of the game. Dame Time’s explosive scoring surge led Billups to say that a healthy Lillard has put “the League on notice.”
“Obviously, Dame is back, and he’s pretty much putting the league on notice,” Billups said, per ESPN.
“Damian Lillard has done it again!”
41 from Dame last night in Los Angeles.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) October 24, 2022
Dame Time is averaging 28.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game on 46.9 percent shooting from the field and 39.3 percent from the three-point line. While the Lakers were unable to get any shotmaking when it mattered the most from LeBron James, Patrick Beverley, and Russell Westbrook, the Trail Blazers triumphed after Lillard hit his sixth triple of the night to give Portland a two-point lead with 7.7 seconds left.
James followed up with a dunk to tie the game up, but Grant finished the game with his game-winning drive to the rim. Portland’s win was solidified after The King missed a 17-footer.
“We all trusted the next guy to do their job,” Lillard said. “We were able to get stops, not turn the ball over and hit our shots.”
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 23, 2022
Portland will finish the back half of their first back-to-back of the season against the Denver Nuggets (2-1) on the road. The Lakers have a break until Wednesday and will play the Nuggets on the road.