PORTLAND, Ore. – Bad shot or last word?
Depending on which side of the fan aisle you fall, Damian Lillard's buzzer-beating, game-winning shot for the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night to close out the series with the Oklahoma City Thunder is all the talk on social media Wednesday morning.
Lillard waved goodbye to the Thunder bench after his knockout shot. Lillard finished with a franchise playoff-record 50 points and Portland eliminated Oklahoma City from the postseason in five games with a 118-115 victory on Tuesday night.
"That was the last word," Lillard said. "That was having the last word."
The Thunder thought otherwise.
"I don't care what anybody says that's a bad shot," Oklahoma City's Paul George said about Lillard's 3. "But he made it and that story will be told, but it was a bad shot. You live with it."
Lillard responded to news of George's comments on Twitter with "Lol."
The shot was reminiscent of Lillard's game-winner against your Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs.
In that game, Lillard took an inbounds pass with 0.9 seconds left on the clock and drilled a trey on the run from three feet beyond the arc. The win sent the Blazers onto the second round.
After the game, Lillard was asked about the similarity or differences bewtween those two game winners.
"It was a little bit different (tonight).That (Houston) game we were down by 2, there was less time and that time I actually broke the play," Lillard said.
"Not a lot of people know I just broke the play. All the guys out there were just telling me, ‘run to the ball’ and that’s what I did. Tonight, this is the way it was set up."
Former Rocket Chandler Parsons, who was the defender on Lillard's 2014 game-winner, wrote on Twitter, "happens to the best of us."
happens to the best of us— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) April 24, 2019
Both game-winners happened at the Rose Garden, or Moda Center, in Portland. The Blazers will face the winner of the San Antonio Spurs-Denver Nuggets series.
The Rockets will try to close out their first-round series with the Utah Jazz in Game 5 Wednesday night.
The winner of the Houston-Utah series will face the winner of the Golden State Warriors-Los Angeles Clippers series.