Bucks’ Damian Lillard Makes Wild NBA History In Game 1

Damian Lillard, Bucks, NBA
Apr 21, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) reacts after scoring a basket in the in the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers during game one of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks got exactly what they were hoping for from star point guard Damian Lillard in Game 1 of their first-round series against the Indiana Pacers in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. With Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined because of a calf injury, the onus was on Lillard to carry the offense.

This is a position that Lillard is used to being in from his days with the Portland Trail Blazers. All too often he was the first, second and third option offensively, finding ways to score and create for his teammates despite opponents loading up their entire game plan against him.

On Sunday in the first half, we saw one of those vintage Lillard performances. He scored 35 points, staking his Bucks to a 69-42 lead at halftime. The defensively-challenged Pacers had no answers for Lillard, as he was carving them up with long-range 3-pointers and drawing fouls.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, 2024 NBA Playoffs, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

In the first half, Lillard knocked down six 3-pointers, some from very long range. When he attacked the basket, he would draw fouls as he knocked down all seven of his free throws as well.

The big lead he helped build was enough for Milwaukee to cruise to the end, coming away with a 109-94 victory. However, Indiana did find some positives in the second half, which included taking Lillard out of the game altogether.

For how hot the NBA All-Star was in the first half, he was cold in the second. Lillard didn’t score a point in the second half of the game, which has led to him making some wild NBA history in the process.

As shared by AP Sports Writer and AP NBA Writer Tim Reynolds, Lillard now owns the NBA record for most points in the first half of a game followed by scoring zero in the second during the play-by-play era starting in 1995. The previous record was held by Devin Booker, who had 31 before getting shutout in the second half on April 19th, 2022.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, 2024 NBA Playoffs, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

It will be interesting to see how this carries over into Game 2. Have the Pacers figured out a way to slow Lillard down, or did he just take his foot off the gas and get his teammates involved given how lopsided the game was?

We will find out when Game 2 is played on Tuesday night in Milwaukee. Indiana will be looking to even the series up before heading home for Games 3 and 4, while the Bucks will be looking to take a commanding 2-0 lead potentially without Antetokounmpo in the lineup.

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