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Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard made history on Wednesday night in Portland’s 134–124 victory over the Jazz.
Lillard scored 60 points in the win, hitting the milestone for the fourth time in his career. At age 32, Lillard became the third-oldest player in NBA history to score 60, and it was was completed with historic efficiency.
Lillard needed just 29 shots and 10 free throws to hit the 60-point mark. Only two other players—Karl Malone in 1990 (26 shots) and James Harden in 2019 (24 shots)—reached 60 points on fewer shot attempts, per ESPN. However, Malone and Harden took 23 free throws each to Lillard’s 10 on Wednesday. In addition, Lillard posted the highest true shooting percentage ever in a 60-point game (89.8%).
“It’s the most efficient 60-point game ever, for real?” Lillard said after the game. “That’s crazy. I didn’t know that. I’m just sitting here thinking I had a shot at the end of the shot clock from half court toward the end that I shot. It probably would have been a little bit better. I missed a free throw. Damn.”
When asked what stood out in this 60-point effort compared to the other three in his career, Lillard noted that the “simplicity” on Wednesday differentiated it from the others.
“I don’t want to say it was easy because they had some big bodies and some long defenders out there, but I think usually I get into a groove where I’m just going without making those simple plays, that teams start to come after me sooner,” he said. “I was kicking it ahead, I was swinging it, so it didn’t feel like they came after me until the very end. That’s why it seemed like the most simple one of all of them.”