Last night’s 147-140 Game 5 loss to the Denver Nuggets was a heartbreaker for the Trail Blazers. Not only did it push them to the brink of elimination, now forcing them to win two games in a row to avoid a Round 1 exit; but it wasted what was unquestionably one of the all-time great playoff performances in Blazers’ history. In light of the loss, here are a few key numbers that tell the story of how the Blazers squandered an all-time performance from Damian Lillard.

How the Blazers Squandered an All-Time Performance From Lillard: By the Numbers
(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Numbers

  • In the series, the Blazers have a 107.1 defensive rating and a 19.7 net rating with Jusuf Nurkic on the court
  • They have a 143.1 defensive rating and a -31.2 net rating when Enes Kanter replaces him
  • Jusuf Nurkic finished the game with 13 points and 11 rebounds, he was a +1
  • Kanter finished with 4 points and 2 rebounds in 14 minutes; he was a -8
  • Nurkic fouled out with 4:00 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter
  • In Portland’s Game 4 victory, Nurkic stayed out of foul trouble and logged 27 minutes
  • Denver’s Nikola Jokic played 27 minutes and totaled 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 assist in that Game 4
  • In Game 5, Nurkic played 24 minutes in a game that went to double-overtime
  • In Game 5, Jokic played 46 minutes and totaled 38 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists
  • Three of the Trail Blazers other starters; CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, and Robert Covington played a combined 146 minutes
  • Together, they scored 50 points and had 10 assists
  • CJ McCollum scored 18 points on 22 shot attempts and had 7 assists on the night
  • Denver guard Austin Rivers scored 18 points on 10 shot attempts and had 10 assists on the night
  • McCollum earned just under $30 million this season
  • Rivers is earning around $270,000 for the Nuggets and was out of the league entirely a few months ago
  • Damian Lillard played 52 minutes in Game 5
  • He scored 55 points on 24 shot attempts and added 10 assists
  • Lillard is the first player in NBA history to record 55 points and 10 assists in a playoff game
  • He tallied 12 three-pointers on the night – also an NBA playoff record
  • Lillard scored 17 points on 6-8 shooting in two overtimes
  • The rest of the Trail Blazers scored 2 points on 1-9 shooting in both overtimes
  • Portland’s 140-points were the most scored by any losing team during this year’s playoffs
  • This is Lillard’s 9th NBA season, and the team has made the playoffs every year but his first
  • If they lose this series, it will be his fifth first-round playoff exit in eight postseason appearances
  • Portland’s President of Basketball Operations, Neil Olshey, made big offseason moves last summer to improve Lillard’s supporting cast
  • These additions included Robert Covington, Derrick Jones Jr, and Harry Giles
  • In Game 5, Covington scored 19 points and added 11 rebounds, but missed 2 critical dunks in overtime
  • Jones Jr. and Giles were both healthy DNP’s
  • Olshey is under contract through the 2023-24 season
  • Damian Lillard’s contract expires the following year

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About Author

Jordan A. Kirsch

NYC by way of PDX - Writing about all things Football, Basketball, and Fantasy Sports.

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