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Lillard’s Crunch-Time Output is the Defining Stat for the Blazers

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CBS Sports contributor Colin Ward-Henninger highlighted Damian Lillard’s stellar late-game production in his midseason evaluation of stats that defined the Trail Blazers.

Portland Trail Blazers v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Thanks to Damian Lillard’s MVP-level production, the Trail Blazers reached the All-Star break with a 21-14 record. Through the first 35 games of the 2020-21 regular season, Lillard has continued to establish himself as one of the NBA’s best clutch performers.

Lillard’s late-game heroics go beyond just the eye test. During the break, CBS Sports contributor Colin Ward-Henninger highlighted the late-game statistical output from the former Weber State star.

There’s no need to get fancy when it comes to Blazers analysis — Damian Lillard has saved a season that could have gone downhill very quickly due to injuries to CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. The Portland offense improves by 14.3 points per 100 possession with Lillard on the court, but his impact is even stronger at the end of games. The Blazers are 14-5 in clutch games (within five points with five minutes remaining), and Lillard leads the NBA with 5.5 points per game in those situations. It passes the eye test, too, as any time Lillard raises up for a meaningful late-game shot, you have total confidence that it’s going in. It’s remarkable that Lillard has his team seven games over .500 in a tough Western Conference, and he’s put his name squarely in the MVP conversation with his consistent heroics.

Along with those clutch numbers, Lillard is averaging 29.8 points and 8.0 assists per game. In the 2021 All-Star Game, Lillard recorded 32 points as a reserve for Team LeBron—a point total that included a game-ending three-pointer.

You can read the full league-wide rundown from Ward-Henninger at CBS Sports.