Damian Lillard wants some respect.
The Portland Trail Blazers star avenged Saturday’s 122-117 loss to the Clippers, in which he missed two late free throws, with 51 points in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers the following night and then a clutch 61-point performance in Tuesday’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks that put Portland in the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.
“Put some respect on my f—king name,” cameras caught Lillard saying over and over again as his teammates and coaches congratulated him.
The pair of free throws that Lillard missed against the Clippers Saturday would’ve given Portland a lead with 18.6 seconds remaining. When he missed, Los Angeles’ Patrick Beverley and Marcus Morris Sr. could be seen openly laughing at Lillard from the bench.
Lillard said after the game that Paul George and Beverley shouldn’t trash talk considering what happened in last season’s playoffs, when the trail Blazers advanced past the Thunder in the first round. It led to a social media exchange with George, who responded to Lillard’s comments on Instagram.
“And you getting sent home this year, respect,” George wrote with a laughing emoji.
“Keep switching teams… running from the grind. You boys is chumps,” Lillard responded before Lillard’s sister and George’s girlfriend escalated the Instagram beef.
Lillard’s 60-plus-point game Tuesday was his third of the season. He joins Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in league history with three or more 60-point games in one season.
“I think maybe once the season is over or maybe when my career is over, I’ll look back at a lot of these moments and be proud to tell my kids and share that story like, ‘Damn, I really did that.’”
The Blazers are now 5-2 since the restart. It’s the first time in Lillard’s career he has gone for back-to-back 50-point games. During his postgame interview he said that he felt like he had a little help from above.
“I think that was my cousin, rest in peace, Chef B, I think that was him dropping that in for me,” he said.
Brandon “Chef B” Johnson, who prepared food for Lillard, CJ McCollum and other Portland players over the years, died suddenly in May.
“He was just the person who was on top of a lot of things for me and wore a lot of hats for me,” Lillard said. “He was my right-hand man. Everything I needed, he did for me, basically, and losing him, it hurt. … I just try to continue what I feel like he would want me to do, and I just been dealing with it that way.
“Just try to continue on the path I know he was proud of.”
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