Damian Lillard says he’s never dealt with a defense similar to the one New Orleans has executed against him in three consecutive playoff games—all losses for Portland.
Lillard finished with 20 points on 5-14 shooting, including a season-high eight turnovers, in a 119-102 loss and the Trail Blazers are now down 0-3 to the Pelicans.
"They're making me give the ball up… this is different covers than I've seen in any point of my career." – @Dame_Lillard breaks down how effective the @PelicansNBA's defensive strategy has been #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/MsxcoMUAwP
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 20, 2018
Per the Oregonian:
“They whooped our (butt) and beat us in every facet of the game,” CJ McCollum said. “Loose balls, rebounds, free-throw line. Energy plays, three-pointers in transition, three-pointers in the halfcourt. You name it, they did it.”
The white flag was raised with 7:55 remaining in the fourth quarter when coach Terry Stotts pulled his starters after Lillard’s three-pointer was blocked by Anthony Davis, who recovered his own loose ball and fed it to Rajon Rondo, who found Darius Miller for an open three-pointer.
“They had a lot of attention on the ball,” Lillard said. “Just so many bodies on the ball. They were just sharp.”