Milwaukee Bucks superstar Damian Lillard nearly pulled off an epic Dame Time moment on his emotional return to Portland on Wednesday night.
The Portland Trail Blazers put up a formidable fight against the Bucks, which resulted in the game going down the wire. This set the stage for Lillard to showcase clutch heroics in front of his former fans — something that the Blazers faithful have witnessed so many times in the past.
It just wasn’t to be.
Milwaukee Bucks’ Damian Lillard Reacts to Brook Lopez Taking Key Triple
With less than 20 seconds remaining and the Blazers up 117-116, Lillard had a chance to break the hearts of Portland fans by hitting an all-too-familiar clutch shot. He had no opening, though, which forced him to pass the ball to Brook Lopez. The former All-Star big man opened up a clean look for himself, which unfortunately, just didn’t find the bottom of the net:
Dame had to pass, Brook took the three and came up short pic.twitter.com/dVOOvKgdhA
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) February 1, 2024
This turned out to be the game-deciding shot for the Bucks, who would eventually lose, 119-116.
After the game, Lillard gave his brutally honest reaction to Lopez taking the crucial shot for the Bucks:
“I came back, I got the ball, I came off the screen,” Lillard said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “I was looking to get downhill first because I didn’t want to just settle. And I was able to get some space from Ayton, and I kind of stepped back behind the 3-point line, but my man was still chasing. And I knew he was going to try to get a rearview contest and maybe have a chance to block it.
“I just welcomed it, and I threw it back. And Brook was making that shot all night. I think if you can get a quality shot from a good shooter, you make that play. So, I threw it back to him just because, at that time, I felt it was the right play. He just missed it.”
The Blazers know Lillard all too well and they were intent on preventing him from taking that shot. It seemed like they were more than happy to let anybody else other than Dame potentially beating them with a clutch triple, which ultimately, turned out to be the right decision for Portland.
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