Damian Lillard has cemented himself as perhaps the greatest Portland Trail Blazer of all time after passing Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler to become the all-time scoring leader in franchise history.
Lillard (18,047 career points) entered Paycom Arena 21 points short of passing Drexler (18,040 points as a Blazer). By the time the final buzzer sounded, Lillard had dropped 28 points on 9-17 shooting from the field, 6-12 from beyond the arc, three rebounds, and six assists. Lillard tied Drexler with a deep triple in the third quarter and then took over the franchise record with a free throw with 1:33 left in the third.
“It’s a great feeling to reach the top,” Lillard said per ESPN. “It’s been a goal of mine, and the list has so many players, great history of our organization, so to finally be No. 1 is a special accomplishment that I’m proud of.”
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— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 20, 2022
Lillard is the 10th active player to become a franchise’s all-time leader in points. He is one of three scoring leaders who currently plays for that team, too, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry in the exclusive list. Lillard is a celebrated hooper in the NBA community, and the fans at Paycom Arena gave him a standing ovation after the Thunder PA announcer told the crown Lillard had reached the historic achievement.
“Even during the game tonight, I wasn’t playing focused on getting to the record,” Lillard said. “I was playing the game just trying to win. I knew it would happen eventually.”
Lillard took over the record after playing 730 career games with Portland, 137 less than it took Drexler to reach (867). The Blazers drafted Lillard sixth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Weber State.
The six-time All-Star is averaging 28.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game on 45.4 percent shooting from the field and 40.4 percent from downtown. For his career, Lillard has put up 24.7 points, 4.2 boards, and 6.7 dimes per game on 43.8 percent shooting and 37.4 percent from beyond the arc.
“Damian’s commitment to Portland is now incapsulated with this prestigious career milestone,” Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin said in a statement. “His dedication, humility, and hard work have been pillars for his path to this very moment. On behalf of the organization, we would like to congratulate Damian on this great achievement and look forward to many more.”
Dame Time and the Trail Blazers will look to get back on track against the Thunder on Wednesday.
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