Damian Lillard needed 21 points on Monday to overtake Portland Trail Blazer icon Clyde Drexler as the franchise’s all-time top scorer. He got there in the third quarter.
Lillard scored his 18,041 with a free throw against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Point to put his name at the top of the Trail Blazers record book.
Drexler played more than eleven seasons in Portland and led the Trail Blazers to the 1992 NBA Finals, where they lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. He averaged 20.8 points in 867 career games before joining the Houston Rockets in the 1994-95 season.
Lillard, 32, is on track to break the record when he retires in Portland. The six-time All-Star is averaging 24.7 career points, surpassing Drexler in his 730th NBA game. Injuries have hampered Lillard this season and last. But when he’s healthy, he shows no signs of slowing down.
Lillard is limited to 19 of Portland’s 31 games this season. But he made the most of his availability as he scored 28.3 points per game and scored 39.8% from 3-point distance on Monday night. He has blossomed since returning from a calf strain and has averaged 31.5 points in the seven games since returning on December 4. As one of the top free-throw shooters in the league (89.3% for his career), it’s fitting that Lillard broke the streak record.
Drexler and Lillard are both members of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, which honors the top 75 players in league history. Drexler is in the Hall of Fame. It won’t be long before Lillard hears his name after he retires.
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