Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard passed Clyde Drexler as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer Monday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Drexler had 18,040 points in 867 career games for Portland. Lillard surpassed that mark at 1:33 in the third quarter, with the first of two free throws that tied the game at 86.
In the timeout a few moments after reaching the milestone, Lillard received handshakes and hugs from his teammates and coaches as the accomplishment was acknowledged at OKC’s Paycom Center, drawing a standing ovation from the visiting crowd. Lillard was soon greeted by his 4-year-old son, Damian Lillard Jr.
The 11th-year guard entered the night needing 21 points to pass Drexler. He finished with 28 points on 9-for-17 shooting, including 6-of-12 from deep, to go along with 3 rebounds and 6 assists. The Thunder beat the Blazers 123-121 on a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander buzzer-beater.
Lillard, 32, was playing in his 730th career game with Portland, which selected him sixth overall in the 2012 draft out of Weber State. He made his debut with the team on Oct. 31, 2012, against the Lakers.
« Damian’s commitment to Portland is now incapsulated with this prestigious career milestone, » Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin said in a statement. « His dedication, humility and hard work have been pillars for his path to this very moment. On behalf of the organization, we would like to congratulate Damian on this great achievement and look forward to many more. »
The six-time All-Star, who was selected to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, was averaging 28.3 points per game this season before Monday, up from his career norm of 24.7.
Drexler spent 11½ seasons with Portland, from 1983-84 to 1994-95. He averaged 20.8 points in his time with the franchise.
Information from Reuters was included in this report.