Before he ended an era in OKC, Damian Lillard first hit a playoff series ending shot against the Houston Rockets.
On the possession prior to this shot, Lillard made the mistake of being out of bounds with the ball after securing a rebound. The ensuing play saw James Harden miss a go-ahead shot only for Robin Lopez to lose the board. Chandler Parsons picked up the scraps from there and easily laid the ball in for a 98-96 lead, leaving 0.9 seconds left.
A game 6 loss at home would be devastating for the Portland Trail Blazers as they were up 2-0 early in the series. The following inbound was in the hands of Nicolas Batum, who looked for LaMarcus Aldridge on the shot. Howard face-guarded the L-Train however, nullifying the Blazers power forward. On the other side of the court, Lillard raced to the top of the three point line, catching the trailing Parsons off-guard. Chandler eventually caught up for the contest, but Dame caught the pass and shot the ball in one motion from way downtown. The buzzer sounded before the rainbow shot slowly fell into the hoop, as the Moda Center crowd went ballistic.
To put the shot in perspective, the Blazers had not made the second round of the playoffs in 14 years leading up to this shot. The team was largely seen as underdogs compared to the household names in Howard and Harden. With the angst in Portland lifted, Damian spontaneously grabbed the microphone and cathartically yelled: “RIP CITAYYYYYYY” (Rip City).
The sneaker Lillard rocked for this crazy shot was the adidas Crazyquick 2. This shoe features a natural motion sole that allowed for court feel. This combined with a SprintFrame chassis to be low-to-the-ground with maximum support. Cushioning was minimal with EVA foam throughout the midsole. The mesh upper provided breathability, while also making the shoe light enough for quick movements.
Cover image via Blazers Edge