The Houston Rockets had a two-point lead with nine-tenths of a second remaining in a tightly-contested game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Thanks to Chandler Parsons‘ sneaky layup, it seemed as though Houston will extend the series to seven games.
However, that thought had sailed when Damian Lillard managed to sink in an impeccable game-winning three-point shot at the buzzer. The crowd at Portland went insane, as their team finally advanced past the first round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2000. This is a big step for a team that once held the top spot of the Western Conference this season before dramatically falling to the fifth seed. Now, Portland awaits for the winner of a another closely-fought series between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs.
Ironically, Lillard’s buzzer beater was reminiscent of another game-winner between the same two teams — in 2008, the Blazers trailed the Rockets 99-98 with only eighth-tenths of a second remaining in regulation. The ball was inbounded to Brandon Roy, as he launched a high-arcing shot that found its way through the hoop.
That game-winning shot is etched into the memories of every single devout Blazers fan. Never had the organization experienced such greatness in quite a while. Lillard’s shot will surely be added and probably be remembered as the greatest shot made by a Blazers’ player in the new millennium.
Portland is far from being considered a favorite for this year’s NBA Finals, but they have a team that’s built a strong bond between returning veterans in LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews. Those three players have played a major role for the team in the past four seasons, and the addition of Lillard and Brook Lopez can solidify this young force for years to come.