A career-best for Damian Lillard. A career-best for D’Angelo Russell.
And neither was sufficient, on a wacky Friday within the NBA.
Lillard scored a franchise-record 60 for Portland in its loss to Brooklyn, Russell had 52 in Golden State’s loss at Minnesota — and people efforts added as much as an absolute NBA rarity. Friday turned solely the second evening in league historical past wherein a number of gamers scored at the very least 50 factors in losses.
The solely different such day: April 9, 1978. David Thompson scored 73 factors in Denver’s loss to Detroit, and George Gervin scored 63 in San Antonio’s loss to the New Orleans Jazz. That was the ultimate day of the 1977-78 common season, one the place Thompson and Gervin had been going for the league’s scoring title.
No scoring title was at stake Friday. It was merely a wild evening.
“Obviously, Dame was exceptional tonight,” Portland coach Terry Stotts mentioned. “Carried us, put us in a position to win the game.”
Lillard capped his 60-point effort, yet one more than his earlier profession finest, with a 34-footer on the buzzer to cap a 119-115 loss. He was 19 for 33 from the sphere, 15 for 15 from the foul line, however merely slapped just a few teammates’ palms and walked off the ground quietly after the report evening.
Russell was 19 for 37 from the sphere, however the Warriors fell to the Timberwolves 125-119.
“D’Angelo hit some incredible shots. … Played a fantastic game,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr mentioned.
Russell mentioned he by no means scored 50 in a recreation earlier than Friday. His earlier NBA excessive was 44.
“It’s not easy to get 50 in this league,” Russell mentioned.
Another massive effort that didn’t finish in a win Friday — Luka Doncic, who had 38 factors, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for Dallas in a loss to New York. Doncic’s 38 factors had been a career-best and he has 4 triple-doubles in eight video games this season.
“I don’t care about the season-high,” Doncic mentioned. “I just wanted to win.”
Gervin received the scoring title after that final-day flurry in 1978, ending that season averaging 27.22 factors. Thompson’s 73 pushed him to 27.15; one other six factors within the finale would have been sufficient to offer him the scoring crown. Lillard’s 60-point recreation allowed him to leap one spot to No. 2 within the points-per-game standings, now behind solely Houston’s James Harden.
“Dame’s a special player,” Stotts mentioned.
Having an evening wherein a number of gamers rating 50 in a loss is de facto uncommon, clearly — and having an evening the place it occurs in wins isn’t precisely frequent, both.
Friday was the primary day that the NBA had a number of 50-point scorers, no matter final result, since Dec. 23, 2005. That evening, Vince Carter scored 51 for New Jersey in a win at Miami, and Allen Iverson scored 53 for Philadelphia in a loss to Atlanta.
Other days with a number of 50-point efforts: Feb. 21, 2003 (Jamal Mashburn and Tracy McGrady), Dec. 6, 2000 (Kobe Bryant and Antawn Jamison, each placing up 51 in the identical Lakers-Warriors recreation), Jan. 16, 1993 (Michael Jordan and David Robinson), Dec. 1, 1990 (Patrick Ewing and Charles Smith), March 24, 1990 (Ewing and Tom Chambers), Feb. 13, 1963 (Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain), Dec. 14, 1962 (Baylor and Chamberlain), Feb. 25, 1962 (Chamberlain and Richie Guerin), Jan. 24, 1962 (Chamberlain and Jerry West), Jan. 17, 1962 (Chamberlain and West), Dec. 29, 1961 (Baylor and Chamberlain), Dec. 13, 1961 (Baylor and Chamberlain), and Dec. 8, 1961 (Baylor and Chamberlain).