Dame struck again, this time with a dozen daggers. Damian Lillard exploded for 55 points for the Portland Trail Blazers in a 147-140 double-overtime loss against the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of their back-and-forth series. Lillard set a new NBA playoff record with 12 made 3-point shots, but if you ask Dame, he’d rather have the win instead of a meaningless record.

Denver Nuggets Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers NBA Playoffs Game 5 record 3-pointers
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, seen here elevating for one of his record-setting 12, 3-point shots, evades Austin Rivers of the Denver Nuggets. (Image: Porter Lambert/Getty)

Lillard snapped a 3-point shooting record originally set by Klay Thompson. In the 2016 playoffs, Thompson knocked down 11 3-pointers for the Golden State Warriors against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“It was the best playoff performance I’ve ever seen,” said Portland head coach Terry Stotts. “Dame gave it his all.”

“It don’t matter,” said Lillard about his 55 points. “We lost the game.”

Lillard shot 17-for-24 from the floor for the Blazers in Game 5, including 12-for-17 from beyond the arc. He also added 10 assists and six rebounds in the loss.

“It was a pleasure to be on the court to witness that,” said Denver’s Nikola Jokic.

Jokic barely missed a triple-double for the Nuggets in Game 5. The leading candidate for MVP notched 38 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists in the victory.

The Blazers lost two games in a row to trail the Nuggets 3-2. The series returns to Portland for Game 6, where the Blazers face a potential elimination game in front of their home crowd.

Dame: Clutch bombs

No one on the Nuggets could slow down Lillard, who knocked down two huge 3-point shots to extended the game while the Blazers were down three points. The first one occurred at the end of regulation when Lillard hit a big trey to send the game into overtime. Lillard knocked down the second trey in the first overtime session to force a double-OT game. Lillard finished the night with 55 points.

“The degree of difficulty on which he hit some of those shots is godlike,” explained teammate CJ McCollum. “To be able to create space and shoot from so far out contested time after time. It’s a shame we wasted one of the all-time performances by not being more supportive for him.”

Lillard hit a couple of deep bombs, also known as logo shots because he attempted them at the edge of the center court logo.

“At this point, all that matters is we can’t lose another game in the series,” said Lillard after the game. “We go out there and we play to win the game, and we came up short.”

In our series preview of the Blazers/Nuggets, we hinted that this will be one of the most-exiting matchups in the postseason. None of the five games disappointed fans looking forward to the battle between Lillard and Jokic. The way this series has been going, you almost expect the Blazers to win Game 6 in Rip City on Thursday before returning to Denver for Game 7 on Saturday.

“It’s do or die now,” added Lillard.

On Deck: Game 6 in Portland

Down 3-2 in the series, the Blazers opened as a -5 favorite at home in Portland for Game 6. The point spread moved to -4.5 after bettors backed Denver on the overnight line. The points total for Game 6 is currently 228.5 o/u. The Nuggets are -275 odds favorites to win the series, according to an update by DraftKings. The Blazers are +210 odds to rally from behind and win the next two games.

Check out more coverage of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

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