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Damian Lillard Trusts Teammates, but Still Wanted Big Shot

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Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports interviews Portland’s superstar about his game-turning moment.

Portland Trail Blazers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Damian Lillard’s deep three-point shot early in the fourth quarter of Portland’s victory over the Brooklyn Nets turned the game around in shocking and demonstrable fashion. In a broad treatment of Lillard’s game, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports got the explanation from Lillard himself, how that shot happened and why it was so important.

Brooklyn elected to trap Lillard on most second-half possessions, forcing him to pass the ball to teammates. This inhibited his shooting, taking away his normal scoring opportunities. But...

“That’s why I took that deep three,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports. “I wasn’t going to allow the traps to take me out of the game. I started to attack two defenders sometimes and if they overly sucked in, then I would still throw it out. But I started to search for shots and opportunities. But at the same time, I don’t mind trusting my teammates. I think Gary Trent Jr. has earned our trust. Even if he misses a few in a row, I still have confidence to make that pass ahead to him out of the double. And I got confidence that he’ll make it. So I’m looking at Gary Trent, who has probably made the most threes in the bubble, I’m looking at CJ [McCollum], and I’m looking at Carmelo Anthony. I’m looking at the double-team like, ‘I’m OK with this.’ And tonight we didn’t make shots, but I don’t see many nights where we get those looks and they don’t go in at a high clip.”

Haynes has much more about Lillard, plus a discussion of Carmelo Anthony and some non-Blazers news as well.