PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard celebrated a personal win Monday night, even though the team lost to a game-winning shot by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In the third quarter of Monday’s game in Oklahoma City, 32-year-old Lillard set a new all-time scoring record for the Trail Blazers. He passed former Blazer Clyde Drexler’s previous record of 18,040 points.
Drexler played with the Blazers from 1983-1995. Lillard has been with the team since 2012.
Lillard finished the game with his score count at 18,048.
“I’ve got a bad habit of not making a big deal out of stuff, even when it is a big deal sometimes,” Lillard said after the game, “and I end up looking back and I’m like, ‘Man, that was pretty cool’… In the moment, I’ve got to be better about it. And I think when I made the freethrow I was mad about something, so I just kind of came to the bench and everybody was clapping and I heard them say it and I was like, ‘Man, I need to chill.’”
Lillard said he didn’t want to come into the game and make it about setting the new franchise record. He just wanted the team to do what it needed to in order to win the game.
Lillard was named to the NBA’s Top 75 Greatest Players of all time ahead of the 2021-2022 season. He entered Monday’s game averaging 28.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 34.4 minutes per game in the 18 games he’s played so far in the 2022-2023 season.
He’s the only player in Trail Blazers history with six All-NBA honors. He’s a six-time NBA All-Star and a 2021 Olympic Gold Medalist.
“Damian’s commitment to Portland is now incapsulated (sic) with this prestigious career milestone,” said Portland Trail Blazers General Manager Joe Cronin. “His dedication, humility and hard work have been pillars for his path to this very moment. On behalf of the organization, we would like to congratulate Damian on this great achievement and look forward to many more.”
KOIN 6 News contacted Drexler to see if he had a reaction to Lillard beating his franchise record. He said he wants to lie low and keep the focus on Lillard. Although, he did tell KOIN “Go Blazers!”
The Trail Blazers face the Thunder again Wednesday at 5 p.m.