Last night, around 10 p.m., history was made. Not just Blazers history. Not just Portland history. Sports History.
Yes, Damian Lillard, who we knew had ice in his frigid veins, stepped back and dropped a 37-foot death-bomb from somewhere between the top of the three-point line and Pluto—to clinch the first-round series against the Thunder, 118-115. He waved goodbye and sent trash-talking Russell Westbrook and pals back to OKC. In Game of Thrones terms: the Starks just beat the Lannisters.
Does Dame have a history of making clutch shots? Duh. This was a deeper, ancient, primordial level of clutchness.
No one simply CHOOSES to singlehandedly lead a comeback and score 50 points in a playoff game. No one CHOOSES to run down the clock, step back, and sink a shot with one of the league’s best defenders in your face. Well, no one human. O, the bottomless depth of Paul George's despair, who helplessly watched the ball soar over his head, briefly skim the heavens above, and neatly sink into the basket... we weep for his soul.
Our restaurant critic and Blazers superfan Karen Brooks had expressly forbidden me from writing about the Blazers' playoff hopes until now. (The reason? The well-established Portland Monthly curse.) But soon after the moment an impossibly calm Dame sunk that three—a moment that undoubtedly played out similarly in many Portland homes, with late-night shrieking, furious jumping, and the joyous buzzing of cellphones—Karen texted me.
"I’m shaking!!! Dame is big hearted AND cold blooded," she wrote. "You can write about them now!!! Curse is lifted."
Maybe. We'll hold off on playoff coverage for round two, just to be sure. In the meantime, we have this moment and we have Dame.
I had to. Here's Lillard's game-winning shot with Titanic music. pic.twitter.com/tg5I6tf25j— Berdj (@BerdjOdabachian) April 24, 2019