NBA Playoffs 2018-19: 3 Talking points from NBA Playoffs - April 24th - Lillard Eliminates OKC and More
It was a night to remember in NBA's postseason history for a long time to come. Housing four first round matchups, three of them resulted in eliminations while the Spurs-Nuggets series lived through for one more game at the very least.
The Trailblazers eliminated OKC via a 118-115 win in Game 5 as the Raptors sent Orlando packing as well through a 115-96 rout of their own. The Nuggets took a 3-2 lead in the series over San Antonio while the Sixers moved on to the next round after man-handling Brooklyn 122-100 in the deciding Game 5.
Let's discuss some of the prominent talking points from the most recent postseason clashes of this year.
#1 Damian Lillard took it on himself to banish Brodie and his Thunder
With the Thunder facing elimination on the road, Lillard took charge of the situation from the word go and never took his foot off the gas. He played for the whole 24 minutes in the first half and dropped 34 points on 12-of-18 shooting, which turned out to be the highest scoring half since Steve Nash in 2005.
He ended the game with 10 three-pointers (franchise record), one of which was a 37-foot bomb in the final seconds to seal the game and the series for his team. Spending a total of 45 minutes on the court, Lillard finished with a game-high total of 50 points on 17-of-33 shooting from the floor, along with 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals as well.
With this performance of a lifetime, Dame surpassed his previous career-playoff high of 40 set against the Warriors in 2016. He single-handedly carried his team to their first trip to the Western Conference semifinals since 2016, after having being swept in the first round by the Warriors and Pelicans for the past two years.
"The series was over. That was it. I was just waving goodbye to them," Lillard said when asked about his reaction following the buzzer beater game winner.