Blazers star Damian Lillard missed two clutch free throws in the team’s disappointing loss against the Clippers on Saturday, drawing some laughter and mockery from Paul George and Patrick Beverley at the end of the contest, as written by Jason Quick of The Athletic.
Beverley, who’s known for taunting players throughout his career, was quick to get on Lillard for missing both free throws, mocking his signature “Dame Time” wrist-tap while audibly laughing. Upon being asked of Beverley’s antics postgame, Lillard didn’t mince words.
“PG did the wave because he was also surprised,” Lillard said of missing his free throws. “Because he experienced getting waved at last year. PG … let me say this: For one, I know what happened. I expect myself to make those free throws, and I didn’t when my team needed it, which is a failure for me. That I can accept.
“But asking me about Patrick Beverley, who I’ve sent home before at the end of the game, Paul George got sent home by me last year in the playoff. So they know the reason they are reacting like that is because of what they expect from me, which his a sign of respect,” Lillard continued. “And it just shows what I’ve done at a high clip more times than not. So I’m not offended by it.
“If anything it should tell you how much it hurt them to go through what I put them through in those situations previously.”
All three players engaged in a war of words on social media after the game, with George writing, “And you getting sent home this year [laughing emoji] respect,” and Beverley writing “Cancun on 3 [three laughing emojis]” in response to Lillard’s comments. The Trail Blazers’ star replied with a simple but forceful statement. “Keep switching teams … running from the grind. You boys is chumps.”
The Blazers (32-39) currently sit one game behind the Grizzlies (33-38) for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, with Saturday’s loss coming against a Clippers team that played without the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell.
There’s more from the Northwest Division tonight:
- Thunder guard Luguentz Dort has shown flashes of improvement in his offensive game, Cameron Jourdan of The Oklahoman writes. Dort, 21, scored 16 points on Friday and nine points on Sunday, demonstrating his potential throughout the contests. He went undrafted last June and has earned the respects of his teammates and coaches this season.
- The Timberwolves now officially own Brooklyn’s first-round pick in the upcoming draft, Chris Hine of the Star Tribune writes. Minnesota acquired the pick in a four-team trade last February, though the pick was lottery protected. The Nets would’ve kept the pick if they had missed the playoffs.
- Nuggets guard Jamal Murray doubled his minutes restriction and shined in his Orlando debut against the Jazz on Saturday, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. Murray finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in 39 minutes of work during a double-overtime contest, helping the Nuggets seal their 46th win of the season.