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FutureStarrDamian Lillard: 8th Player in NBA History to score 70+ points
On Sunday against the Houston Rockets, Damian Lillard scored a career-high 71 points and set a Trail Blazers record with 13 3-pointers made in the game.
It was the eighth time in NBA history that a player scored 70 or more points in one game. He joined Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Thompson and David Robinson as well as Elgin Baylor, Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell on this list.
Wilt Chamberlain is one of basketball's greatest legends, renowned for his impressive career achievements. He holds 72 NBA records and is the only player to score 100 points in a single game - among many other impressive accomplishments.
He played an essential role in creating the center position, later known as "Sixth Man," due to its emphasis on big men's rebounding and passing abilities. At 7 feet tall, his shooting prowess and physicality made him a force to be reckoned with physically.
Throughout his career, he averaged 30.1 points per game and led the NBA in rebounding twice. He earned seven selections to the All-NBA First Team and four regular-season MVP awards during that span.
On March 2, 1962, Chamberlain scored 100 points against the New York Knicks - then-an NBA record that has likely never been surpassed. This mark stands as one of the greatest single-game scoring performances ever seen.
He had always been a poor free-throw shooter, but John McGuire encouraged him to shoot underhanded and it paid off; his free-throw shooting percentage improved drastically over his 14 year career despite still missing 5,805 foul shots - far lower than any number he had ever hit before.
Kobe Bryant is a retired professional basketball player who spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. During his tenure with the Lakers, he earned five championship rings and is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Bryant is widely considered one of the greatest NBA players ever, and his remarkable scoring ability made him a fan favorite. He was named Most Valuable Player for 2007-08 season and led his team to victory in the 2009 NBA Finals.
He was a two-time Olympic gold medalist and member of both the 2008 and 2012 United States Olympic basketball teams. Additionally, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
His career culminated with an 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors, which was then the second-highest single game score ever recorded in NBA history. Additionally, he led the league in scoring twice and helped his team capture three consecutive NBA championships.
From 2015-16 to 2020-21, Dame helped the Blazers reach the playoffs each year despite being almost always written off by oddsmakers as an unlikely postseason participant. He proved they were wrong by showing them his mettle in battle.
Damian Lillard's 71 points helped the Portland Trail Blazers snap a two-game losing streak. He scored an NBA-record 71 points and made 13 3-pointers to lead Portland to a 131-114 victory against Houston on Sunday night.
This performance makes him the 8th player in NBA history to score 70 points, joining Wilt Chamberlain (32 times), Kobe Bryant (6 times), David Thompson, David Robinson, Elgin Baylor, Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell who have all reached this mark during their careers.
Thompson earned four All-Star selections and shared the scoring title with George Gervin during his time in the NBA. Additionally, he won four ABA championships and had his number 33 retired by the Nuggets.
Thompson had an incredible basketball career, yet struggled with substance abuse issues caused by feelings of loneliness and isolation. After checking into a Denver rehabilitation facility for his erratic debut season with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1983, he returned home. While at North Carolina State, Thompson led their team to its first NCAA title in 1974. Aside from his basketball accomplishments, Thompson also made time for family - married to Cathy for almost 30 years and having two daughters together.
Robinson was a part of two NBA championship teams with the San Antonio Spurs, earning him an honorary 10-time All-Star status and being named one of NBA history's 50 greatest players. Additionally, he served as gold medalist on the U.S. national team and earned himself two Olympic gold medals in 1992 and 1996 games.
After his high school career, Robinson attended the Naval Academy and played basketball all four years. He earned himself the first overall selection in the 1987 NBA draft but had to fulfill a five-year service commitment which prevented him from playing professionally after graduation.
Robinson rose to become one of the top players in the NCAA, leading his Navy Midshipmen to the Elite Eight during his junior year. Additionally, he earned himself the Naismith College Player of the Year award.
In his rookie season with the Spurs, Robinson set team and league records in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. He finished among the top 10 in four statistical categories and earned himself a spot on the All-NBA second team. Additionally, he finished as the runner-up to Hakeen Olajuwon for league MVP honors. In his final year with San Antonio, Robinson joined Tim Duncan to win their second NBA title together.
Baylor had an extraordinary talent, yet he also had to confront racism head-on. As a kid growing up in segregated Washington D.C., his sister Columbia was slapped on the head by a white girl and Baylor told her she was "the N word."
His experiences as a Black man in D.C. set him on the path to becoming a legendary figure in their own right, for growing up in an environment where Blacks weren't permitted access to city recreation centers and violence was commonplace on its streets.
He never gave up and played basketball, a sport where he could overcome all odds. In the process, he became an 11-time All-Star, 10-time first-team All-NBA player and one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
Baylor made history during his NBA career by becoming the first player to pirouette through the air during a game. His legacy continues to be celebrated within the league today, especially with the rise of today's superstars.
On Sunday night, Damian Lillard set a Portland Trail Blazers single-game scoring record and tied every NBA offensive performance ever (except seven) by scoring 71 points in a win against Houston Rockets. He finished 22-38 from the floor, 13-22 from three-point range, and 14-14 at the foul line to set this new mark.
Devin Booker is an American basketball player currently playing for the Phoenix Suns. He was born on October 30, 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and currently represents his hometown as a member of Team Phoenix.
Devin Booker, the son of Melvin Booker and Veronica Gutierrez, is an accomplished multiracial athlete (Hispanic, White, and Black).
He attended Grandville High School in Michigan before transferring to Moss Point High School in Mississippi. Although he had scholarship offers from many major universities, he ultimately chose to play college basketball for Kentucky.
His freshman season at Kentucky was a remarkable success, as he averaged 10 points and 2 rebounds per game while earning SEC Sixth Man of the Year honors. In April 2015, he declared for the 2015 NBA Draft and forfeited his remaining three years of eligibility.
For four seasons, the 26-year-old shooting guard has been one of the premier scorers in the league, scoring over 12,000 career points while averaging 21.7 minutes per game. He's been an invaluable asset to his teammates this season as well, averaging 18.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game this season in 32 minutes of action.
On Friday night, Booker scored 25 points on 9-21 shooting and 6-6 from the foul line over 35 minutes in a 124-115 triumph over Oklahoma City. Though his role will likely be reduced in coming weeks due to an injury-plagued groin, Booker remains a reliable fantasy option for teams looking to build around him.
The NBA is filled with incredible players, and Cleveland Cavaliers star guard Donovan Mitchell is among the best. Unfortunately, he failed to reach 20 points for a second consecutive game Friday and has yet to do so in any of his February contests.
Mitchell continues to struggle, yet the Cleveland Cavaliers still have him on their roster. Therefore, it seems likely that he'll return to action before month ends.
On January 3rd, he set an NBA record by shooting 70 percent efficiency in the Cavaliers' 145-134 win against Chicago. Now he has the chance to help his team gain some recognition across the league.
After witnessing Lillard's 71-point explosion, James took to Twitter to express his awe. He didn't say much, but sent out a watch emoji as his expression of admiration for the Blazers guard's performance.
Lillard's 71 points are the eighth highest ever scored by an NBA player, surpassing only Wilt Chamberlain (100), Kobe Bryant (81) and David Thompson (73) in a single game. That makes Lillard's 131-114 win against Houston on Sunday night even more remarkable as it marked his career-high scoring output.