Lillard's impossible miracle

The Blazers trailed 5 to 10 seconds to go. Lillard made a triple from home, Trent forced a jump between two and the ball returned to base, who sentenced.

Lillard's-impossible-miracle

The Blazers trailed five points with 22 seconds remaining. A penetration by Robert Covington left them just three, but two free throws by Coby White practically doomed the crash. The result was 117-122 with just a few seconds to go. At that point, Damian Lillard caught the ball and threw a triple from home to bring his team closer. And yet, at 8 seconds, it seemed mission impossible. Rodney Wood and Gary Trent locked up Zach LaVine, who was the one who received it, and Trent forced a fight, giving the visitors a golden opportunity. The Oregon team player unexpectedly won the jump, the ball reached the hands (of course) of Lillard and he scored a triple on the horn that silenced (even more so) an empty United Center and caused the blazers to celebrate, which they ran to hug the hero. One that ended, by the way, with 44 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists, a new exhibition that allows his team to continue in playoff positions (10-8, seventh in the West) and keep his options alive with still a long season ahead , but the need to add victories to avoid any scare that they know well (last year they entered miraculously thanks to the play-in) and thus correct the questionable game they are developing.Before that, there was everything. Above all, bad defenses and many points, two things that define two teams that do not seem to have any plans to improve in that regard. The Blazers escaped in a great second quarter (19-32 in a partial), but Billy Donovan's team (7-11, eleventh in the East and without finding the key with the new coach) was coming back little by little until they reached the ahead in an end that seemed to have controlled but in which they ended up failing miserably. Lillard, in addition to scoring 44 points (14 in the fourth quarter), had a spectacular shooting series: 15 of 26 from the field and 8 of 17 (!!) from the triple, spectacular numbers. The point guard, who last year already demonstrated his most superhuman version in the middle of the course, is at 29.6 + 4.5 + 7.2, shoots with almost 39% in triples and, in the absence of the injured McCollum, is assuming full responsibility for the offense of the team led by Terry Stotts.

And more especially when the rest is not fine: Carmelo this time was not the revulsive (12 points per game this season) and stayed at 4 points, while Trent helped slightly reaching 18. Enes Kanter was the other great man against The Bulls: With a ridiculous defensive ability, the Turk is a totally objective scoring machine, doing damage in the zone and catching offensive rebounds, and he went to 22 + 11. The pivot already gained importance in the 2019 playoffs, when the Blazers slipped into the Western finals, and then he also stood out thanks to (or because of) the injury of Jusuf Nurkic, who has fallen again this course. In short, many problems for those from Oregon, who with a squad in the box do nothing other than entrust themselves to Lillard, their messiah, and the man who is not injured and is leading them to add important victories (this one in particular came after two consecutive losses) that can be key to making accounts and entering the playoffs in a few months.

What about the Bulls? The change of coach has improved the dynamics of the squad and the dressing room, but it is not translating into the team's record. LaVine scored 26 points in a masterful shooting series (9 of 12 and 6 of 8), but lost the final ball. Of course, it is the best news for the Bulls this season and he is definitely consolidating himself as a star ... in a bad team, yes: 26.9 + 5.3 + 5.2. In addition to the forward, Coby White went to 20 points (with 3 of 6 on triples) and Lauri Markkanen to 31 (with 6 of 11). The locals had the game in their hand and they were going with a good upward dynamic, but they lost due to small details and sink a little more in an Eastern Conference very similar to the West this year, with a lot of rooster, few opportunities and the need to win a lot now to, as in the case of the Blazers, not have scares later. The difference, which in this case there is, is that Portland, better or worse, is getting its games. And the Bulls, who add their third consecutive loss, no. And that is paid later, of course.



Photos from as.com
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