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YouTube Gold: Damian Lillard Goes Off

What a night for Portland’s superstar guard

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers
 PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 26: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers is doused by teammates after setting a franchise record 71 points in a single game that included 13 three-pointers against the Houston Rockets at the Moda Center on February 26, 2023 in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers won 131-114.
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

It sounds funny to say it but it’s kind of true: Damian Lillard is underrated.

Partly it’s because of timing. Lillard came into the NBA in 2012 and has always to some extent been in the shadow of Stephen Curry, who entered the league three years earlier in 2009.

Like Curry, Lillard is a brilliant offensive talent and has helped to revolutionize how the three point shot is employed.

But unlike Curry, and just about everyone else who has ever played in the NBA, Lillard can now say he has a 70+ game, having scored 71 in a 131-114 win over the Houston Rockets. He hit 22-38 overall and 13-22 on threes.

The most recent guy to top 70 point was fairly recent - Donovan Mitchell earlier this season - but it’s rare. Lillard now joins a club with members like Elgin Baylor, David Robinson, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain.

Incidentally, former Blue Devil Cam Reddish started for the Trailblazers and scored seven.