“Are you serious?”: Trailblazers star Damian Lillard reveals he was called in for a doping test after the game for the first time in his 11-year NBA career – after he lost an insane all-time high of 71 points against the Rockets
Damian Lillard has revealed he had to pass his first post-game drug test in 11 years in the NBA after dropping 71 points in a 131-114 win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
The 32-year-old seven-time All-Star was shocked to become the first player in league history to score over 70 points in less than 40 minutes.
He also tied with Donovan Mitchell, Elgin Baylor (1960) and David Robinson (1994) for the most points scored in a game, becoming the eighth player in NBA history to score 70 or more points.
“Honestly, I thought you were all serious,” Lillard told reporters after the game on Sunday. “I did a urine test (Saturday) and they backed it up with a blood draw after the game (Sunday). It was the first time in my career (to give up) a post-match test.
“Besides, they know I’m afraid of needles. I know I have a lot of tattoos, but getting blood drawn is different from tattoos. It brought me from here to the floor until the end.
“When they finished it, I thought, ‘okay, I’m done with it.’
Damian Lillard submits his first NBA doping test in 11 years after Sunday’s show with 71 points
The 32-year-old broke the Portland club record and his own career high against the Rockets
Lillard was almost right against Houston, shooting 57.9% from the field (22 of 38 total shots) and 59.1% from three-point range (13 of 22). He also had six rebounds and six assists in 39 minutes of play.
And by defeating the team with the worst record in the league (13-47), this year’s NBA three-point champion broke the franchise’s own tally of 61 points.
Lillard’s final appearance was his 15th career game with 50 or more points, the sixth highest scoring game in NBA history. He had 41 points and eight three-pointers by the break.
It was a career-high half for the Portland Guards and the most points at half for any player in the league that season. He had 50 at the start of the fourth quarter.
In the final minutes of the game, the crowd at Moda Center stood up, phones recording the moment, chanting “MVP! MVP!
“I think every hooper likes those moments when you’re hot, you’re in attack mode, you’re feeling good,” said Lillard. “But then I struggle with things like when I was coming off the court was I supposed to be too excited or what?”
“It was a truly masterful performance,” said Blazers coach Chauncey Billups. “It was a work of art. It was amazing.
Lillard’s 13 three-pointers fell short of the NBA record set by Golden State’s Klay Thompson in 2018.
Lillard almost made a mistake against Houston and shot a total of 57.9 percent from the field
“It was a truly masterful performance,” said coach and former All-Star Chauncey Billups
Since then, Thompson’s Warriors teammate Stephen Curry and Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine have also hit 13 three-pointers.
Lillard’s magical performance on Sunday helped the Blazers move closer to .500 as the team holds a 29-31 overall record in the tightly packed Western Conference.
There is only a four-game difference between the fourth-seeded Phoenix Suns and the 13th-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference.
Portland is the 11th seed in the West lurking just outside the play-in spots in the league.