Lillard and Path Blazers staying grounded after upstaging LeBron’s Lakers

Damian Lillard and the Portland Path Blazers will not be getting carried away with their win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Recreation 1 of the Western Convention first-round collection.

Lillard starred because the eighth-seeded Path Blazers upstaged high seeds the Lakers 100-93 within the NBA playoffs at Walt Disney World Resort on Tuesday.

That includes within the postseason after topping the Memphis Grizzlies within the play-in sport, the Path Blazers drew first blood in opposition to the Lakers due to Lillard’s game-high 34 factors in Orlando, Florida.

The groups have been locked at 89-89 earlier than the Path Blazers – led by Lillard – powered previous LeBron James and the Lakers, who made their first playoff look since 2013.

Lillard, nevertheless, refused to dwell on the victory because the Path Blazers sit up for Recreation 2 on Thursday.

“I believed it was only a nice effort by the crew,” Lillard, who nailed six three-pointers, instructed reporters. “From the beginning of the sport, we got here out with the main focus and vitality we would have liked in opposition to one of the best crew within the league.

“We performed collectively. We shared the ball. We did not have any main lulls. Clearly they made some runs, however when it obtained down the stretch, we stored our heads down and stored working. We made the performs on each ends to drag out the win.

“However we all know it is solely going to get more durable from right here. It is just one sport. The job is way away from being accomplished. However I am pleased with our effort in getting the primary one.”

The Path Blazers have been pink sizzling for the reason that 2019-20 NBA season resumed in July after the league was postponed in March as a result of coronavirus pandemic.

Responding to a query suggesting Portland might afford to lose a sport and nonetheless be in a wholesome place in opposition to the Lakers, Lillard replied: “That does not make sense, coming right into a sport pondering you possibly can lose a sport. You come into each sport making an attempt to win it.

“The important thing to the playoffs is the primary crew to win 4 video games. I do not suppose it makes any sense to ever come right into a sport saying we are able to lose. You all the time wish to attempt to prolong your lead in a collection. That is what our mentality is.

“We all know it is solely going to get more durable from right here. They’re an excellent crew, the primary seed. I am not involved with our mentality going ahead. The leaders of the crew… the crew goes to go as we go so far as the mentality.”

Lillard additionally heaped reward on Path Blazers team-mate Hassan Whiteside, who completed with 5 blocks to assist stifle James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers.

“He was huge time,” Lillard mentioned. “We knew coming into this collection, as soon as we obtained there, they’ve numerous guys who’re correct within the paint.

“They’re huge in there, so we’d like our huge guys to have a presence within the paint at each ends of the ground.

“I believed tonight now he protected the paint, blocked photographs, modified photographs, rebounded. He had a constructive influence on the sport. With out him on the market, we do not win. We want that kind of effort.”

Printed 19 Aug 2020, 12:12 IST

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