Damian Lillard gave the Wisconsin fan base another reason to celebrate on Sunday after he propelled the Milwaukee Bucks to a clutch win over the Sacramento Kings.
With 5.2 seconds left in overtime and the Bucks behind by two, 142-140, Lillard knew he had to step up to deliver the team to victory. And step up he did, as he drained the game-winning buzzer-beater from just a couple of steps away from the logo for the Milwaukee win.
It sent the whole Bucks and their supporters into a frenzy, adding another layer of excitement after Wisconsin saw its own Green Bay Packers take down the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs earlier.
Lillard’s shot further highlighted why the Bucks traded for him from the Portland Trail Blazers during the offseason. They needed a reliable scorer and closer behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, and while his acquisition ended up hurting their defense, there’s no denying that Lillard is playing the way Milwaukee expected him to.
DAMIAN LILLARD GAME WINNER 😱 pic.twitter.com/g4EaINDAh4
— Ahn Fire Digital (@AhnFireDigital) January 15, 2024
Damian Lillard Explains Epic Milwaukee Bucks Game-Winner vs. Sacramento Kings
While speaking to reporters postgame, Damian Lillard was asked to break down his clutch shot in overtime. Many were interested to hear his thoughts on how his shot came to be, particularly what he was thinking before he pulled the trigger.
Interestingly enough, Dame Time gave an incredible answer, sharing what he saw in the moment that led him to take the shot.
“I just kind of let the ball bounce a little bit to let everybody get to their spots, and I looked up and two guys ran to Giannis. And Brook [Lopez] was already running towards me and I knew what the play was going to advance to,” Lillard shared, via Bally Sports Wisconsin.
“I advanced to him [Lopez] and just took off running. Fox was kind of trailing the play and he got back in front of me caused I slowed down. .. So I changed directions and went into space. That’s all I was looking for was a good look at the rim, and when I did, it was a comfortable shot.”
"I got space and my eyes were on the rim."
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) January 15, 2024
It’s definitely great to hear the thought process that players had before taking big shots just like what Lillard did. As everyone knows, these players had to react at the moment and think quickly, which makes it all the more incredible.
Lillard only had less than five seconds to find his spot and take his shot, and when he saw an opening, he didn’t hesitate.
For what it’s worth, the whole Milwaukee Bucks team expected the shot to go in. Giannis Antetokounmpo himself said as much, sharing that he knew Lillard was going to make it when he saw the ball launch.
It’s clear the Bucks have all the trust in the world on Lillard to take and make such shots. And that belief will surely go a long way as they try to compete for the NBA title once again.
Lillard finished the game with a team-high 29 points on top of four rebounds and eight assists. The Bucks now hope he can maintain his top form as they head to Ohio next to face the Cleveland Cavaliers.
For More Wisconsin Sports:
Follow us on Twitter at @WiSportsHeroics. Also, check out our Merchandise Here! Get 20% off with the code “WSH.” To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in ALL of Wisconsin sports, click here! Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers.