Damian Lillard of Portland goes up for a shot as he is being guarded by Cole Aldrich of the Clippers during Wednesday’s 108-98 Trail Blazers’ victory in Game 5 at Staples Center/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill
Portland’s Damian Lillard had really stunk up the joint through three quarters Wednesday. At that point he had shot 1 of 10 from the field for six points, and his team’s Game 5 against the Clippers was tied 71-71 at Staples Center.
Lillard went off in the fourth quarter, shooting 6 of 10 – 4 of 6 from 3-point range – to score 16 of his 22 points in the quarter. Not coincidentally, the Trail Blazers built as much as a 17-point lead (105-88) with 3:38 to play before settling for a 108-98 victory to take a 3-2 series lead ahead of Game 6 on Friday in Portland.
“I mean, that’s my entire career in the league,” Lillard said post-game. “I’ve always been able to put the first three quarters behind me and come up big when my team has needed it.”
Lillard liked that his fellow Trail Blazers encouraged him.
“All my teammates throughout the game, they just kept saying, ‘Keep shooting, stay with it, stay aggressive, keep your mind right,’ ” he said.