Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers lost a tough, physical one Sunday in Houston. Following the 118-113 overtime stinger, Lillard — who fouled out with 3 minutes to go in the extra session — admitted that Rockets guard Patrick Beverley got under his skin (which is precisely Beverley’s m.o.) Per CSNNW:
“It’s irritating,” Lillard said. “But I was locked into the game to be one hundred percent honest with you. It’s irritating that he’s doing all that little stuff like flopping, tying you up and all that for the whole game. But I don’t really get caught up in that. It’s whatever.”
Beverley, who takes exceptional pride in his defense, said all he’s concerned with is the win before he addressed what Lillard considers to be “antics.”
“If he thinks I’m flopping, that’s on him, not me,” Beverley said. “We won. That’s all I care about.”
The two even got tangled up late in the fourth quarter and had to be separated as they were jawing at one another. Beverley, who has a broken nose, took off his protective mask as if he wanted to do more than play basketball.
“It’s basketball,” Beverley said. “That’s how basketball is. It’s not going to be pretty all the time.”
“There’s no individual matchup, man,” Lillard responded. “I don’t get distracted like that. It’s not a big deal to me. It’s just frustrating when you’re the starting point guard and you’re not able to finish the game in a big game like this. It’s frustrating. You want to be out there.”
“If it’s them we’ll face (in the Playoffs), we’ll be ready,” Lillard said. “I like our chances.”