Damian Lillard had a historic scoring night on Sunday at home against the Houston Rockets. But not only did he set his own career high in points in a single game, but he also passed an impressive personal milestone in doing so.
When Lillard woke up on Sunday, he was ranked 64th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. That may not sound like an impressive feat in of itself, but when he went to sleep that night, he was in 62nd place, having just scored 71 points in a game, and having eclipsed the 19,000 point mark in his career.
Damian Lillard Has Big Game, Passes 19k Points In The Process
.@Dame_Lillard 🤝 @spidadmitchell 🤩 pic.twitter.com/JVwEO0Dtkd
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 27, 2023
He entered the game needing 45 points to get to the milestone. In his previous contest, Lillard passed Scottie Pippen on the scoring list, and had Dale Ellis and Reggie Theus in his sights once he was able to cross the 19,000 threshold. He is one of the top scorers in the game, averaging over 32 points per game, but it was more likely that he would top the 19k mark on Tuesday against the Warriors rather than on Sunday against the Rockets.
Perhaps he knew. Lillard was on fire in the first half on Sunday, going 8 for 11 on 3-pointers and scoring 41 points in the first two frames. He started the 4th quarter with 50 points, and finished with a whopping 71. It was his career-high in points, and tied for the most points scored by any player this season.
How Does Lillard Stack Up On The All-Time List?
When all was said and done, Lillard took 38 shots, making 22 of them, and going a perfect 14 of 14 from the free throw line. He made 13 of his 22 3-pointers. He is now tied with Davion Mitchell, David Robinson, and Elgin Baylor for 8th most points scored in a single game.
As for the all-time scoring list, keep an eye out for Lillard’s ascent past some of the game’s greats. If he plays in 20 more regular season games in 2022 and averages 30 points, then he has another 600 total to score before the year is up. That would put him at 19,626 career points, and in 53rd place on the list. He would pass the likes of Bob Lanier, Jamal Crawford, Tony Parker, and Dwight Howard in the process, and be within shouting distance of Bernard King and John Stockton when next year begins.