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Damian Lillard and D'Angelo Russell have huge nights but come up empty

Associated Press

Saturday 9 November 2019 09:18, UK

Damian Lillard prepared to take a free throw en route to 60 points against the Nets 2:06
Damian Lillard erupted for 60 points but it wasn't enough as the Portland Trail Blazers lost 119-115 to the Brooklyn Nets

Damian Lillard scored 60 points for Portland and D'Angelo Russell poured in 52 for Golden State, but neither was enough to help the Blazers or the Warriors get a win.

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A career-best for Lillard. A career-best for Russell. And neither was enough, on a dramatic Friday night in the NBA.

Lillard scored a franchise-record 60 for Portland in their loss to Brooklyn, Russell had 52 in Golden State's loss at Minnesota and those efforts added up to an absolute NBA rarity.

Friday became only the second night in league history in which multiple players scored at least 50 points in losses.

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The only other such day? April 9, 1978. David Thompson scored 73 points in Denver's loss to Detroit, and George Gervin scored 63 in San Antonio's loss to the New Orleans Jazz. That was the final day of the 1977-78 regular season, one where Thompson and Gervin were going for the league's scoring title.

No scoring title was at stake Friday. It was merely a wild night.

"Obviously, Dame was exceptional tonight," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "Carried us, put us in a position to win the game."

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Lillard capped his 60-point effort, one more than his previous career-best, with a 34-footer at the buzzer to cap a 119-115 loss. He was 19-for-33 from the field, 15-for-15 from the foul line, but merely slapped a few team-mates' hands and walked off the floor quietly after the record night.

Russell was 19-for-37 from the field, but the Warriors fell to the Timberwolves 125-119.

D'Angelo Russell in action during Golden State's overtime loss to Minnesota 1:40
D'Angelo Russell made seven three-pointers en route to a career-best 52 points in the Warriors' overtime loss to the Timberwolves

"D'Angelo hit some incredible shots. Played a fantastic game," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

Russell said he never scored 50 in a game before Friday. His previous NBA high was 44. "It's not easy to get 50 in this league," he said.

Another big effort that didn't end in a win Friday Luka Doncic, who had 38 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for Dallas in a loss to New York. Doncic's 38 points were a career-best and he has four triple-doubles in eight games this season.

Luka Doncic dribbles the ball upcourt against the New York Knicks 1:59
Luka Doncic fired for a 38-point triple-double but could not prevent the Dallas Mavericks from falling to a shock defeat to the New York Knicks

"I don't care about the season-high," Doncic said. "I just wanted to win."

Lillard's 60-point game allowed him to jump one spot to No 2 in the points-per-game standings, now behind only Houston's James Harden.

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"Dame's a special player," Stotts said.

Having a night in which multiple players score 50 in a loss is extremely rare and having a night where it happens in wins isn't exactly common either.

Friday was the first day that the NBA had multiple 50-point scorers, regardless of outcome, since December 23, 2005.

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That night, 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 multiple 50-point efforts include:

  • February 21, 2003 - Jamal Mashburn and Tracy McGrady
  • December 6, 2000 - Kobe Bryant and Antawn Jamison, both putting up 51 in the same Lakers-Warriors game
  • January 16, 1993 - Michael Jordan and David Robinson
  • December 1, 1990 - Patrick Ewing and Charles Smith)
  • March 24, 1990 - Ewing and Tom Chambers)
  • February 13, 1963 - Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain
  • January 24, 1962 - Chamberlain and Jerry West

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