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Damian Lillard's Game-Winner is the Shot of the Playoffs

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Lillard’s three won the series for the Portland Trail Blazers against the Houston Rockets.

Damian Lillard's Game-Winner is the Shot of the Playoffs

There were five Game Sevens in the NBA Playoffs last week. Damian Lillard was the sole reason there wasn't a sixth.

Saturday night, Lillard hit a game-winning three-pointer as time expired to give the Portland Trail Blazers the Game Six win and the series win over the Houston Rockets. Portland now moves to the Western Conference Semifinals where they will play the San Antonio Spurs, while the Rockets get an early exit from the playoffs.

Down two with just 0.9 seconds left, Lillard raced off a screen and was given way too much room by Houston's defenders. Whatever confusion there was on the pick, it gave Lillard just enough space to launch his three and end Houston's season. Of all the things to happen during a wild first round, this shot was far and away the best of the bunch. There hasn't been a series-winning shot as time expired since John Stockton did it to the same Rockets back in 1997, and Lillard did it all with an infinite amount of swag.

Here is what the shot looked like from the broadcast:

And here's what it looked like from court side seats (via Deadspin):

I can't really decide which one I like more. With the TV view, you obviously get Mike Tirico's great call with the added luxury of replays and different angles. But with the Vine, you get to experience the actual atmosphere of the arena before, during and immediately after Lillard's game-winner. We're right in the Moda Center (formerly the Rose Garden), and we get to truly feel the pulse of the venue as Lillard hits that shot. And, best of all, the Vine plays on a continuous loop of awesomeness.

It doesn't have Mike Tirico, but Mike Tirico doesn't have the entire arena shaking because of the game-winning shot. You want to feel like you're in the arena for a shot like that, and that's exactly what that Vine video gives us.

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