Lillard was a chore, however, as he scored an incredible 34 points in 24 first half minutes, mostly in isolation situations or while being trapped and always off of a few dribbles first.
The shot went in, because of course it had to. All of it made Lillard's job look that much more impossible. Tip my hat to the shots he made, tough ones.
There will be other huge moments along the way, but no matter what happens from here, I'm not sure anything in this year's National Basketball Association playoffs will top what Damian Lillard did in Portland Tuesday night.
On a night, where Maurice Harkless was ejected from the game after fouling out and the officials felt that he needed to be tossed after throwing his headband, Harkless had a little trouble falling asleep too. Are Russell Westbrook and Paul George untouchable in trade talks? In 2014, Portland was down by two and would have lost if Lillard had missed. Russ seemed more infatuated with the idea of showing up Lillard than ensuring the Thunder were able to secure a win. Should they drop Game 4 on their home floor, Lillard and the Blazers would just have to take care of business on their home court in Game 5 to knock OKC out of the playoffs. "We stuck to the game plan for a lot of the time, and also our scramble situations were pretty good". He was huge in the third quarter, when the Trail Blazers reached their biggest lead of the night at 19 points. Once again, George was saddled with 3 fouls and this time had to miss the final 5:45 of the half. Lowry hit four field goals - including a 3-pointer - in his early burst, and Kawhi Leonard added a three-point play as Toronto went up by 11 before the game was three minutes old. "That was having the last word".
George was 3-of-16 from the field, but had more assists on Friday (six) than Games 1 and 2 combined.
Sissoko set to miss Ajax showdown for Spurs
However, with Arsenal and Manchester United also losing over the weekend, Spurs remain third in the table, although they could slip down if Chelsea beat Burnley on Monday Night Football .
Lillard responded to news of George's comments on Twitter with "Lol". Down 3-1 in the series the Thunder was really on the ropes, but its response was remarkable.
Lillard waved goodbye to the Thunder bench before being mobbed by all of his teammates, with his 10th three-pointer breaking the franchise record.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) celebrates with forward Tobias Harris (33) and forward Jonathon Simmons (17) against the Brooklyn Nets during the third quarter in game five of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.
Lillard leveled the score at 115-115 with a driving layup and when Westbrook subsequently fluffed a chance to restore Oklahoma City's lead with 18.3 seconds left, Portland ace Lillard was left with a chance to grab the win. Portland outscored the Thunder 26-8 the rest of the way.