Long before he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks this past September, Damian Lillard had earned a reputation as one of the game's most clutch players for his late-game heroics.
As a Buck, he's continued living up to that reputation. According to NBA.com/stats, Lillard has scored 56 points in the clutch this season. That is more than every other Buck combined; they've tallied 55, led by 19 from Giannis Antetokounmpo and 14 from Brook Lopez. The scoring gap between Lillard and second-place Antetokounmpo is jaw-dropping, but it shows just how productive he's been.
Insane stat shows just how clutch Damian Lillard has been for the Milwaukee Bucks
It must be noted that the Bucks are 7-1 in the eight "clutch" situations Lillard has played in thus far in 2023-24. The Bucks have had plenty of rough starts to games, particularly in what turned out to be a 26-point comeback against the Portland Trail Blazers, but they've been able to win a lot of games due to their ability to turn it up a notch in the fourth.
Obviously, Lillard has been a driving force in that success. En route to scoring his 56 clutch points, he has shot 13-of-25 from the floor (52 percent), 5-of-13 from long distance (38.5 percent) and 25-of-26 from the free throw line (96.2 percent). For the most part, he's been surgical down the stretch, and his ability to get to the free throw line has given this team an immeasurable boost late in these games.
Lillard currently leads the entire NBA in clutch scoring average, putting up seven points per game in those late-game situations. Atlanta's Trae Young is second at 6.3, while Brooklyn wing Mikal Bridges is third at 5.6 per game.
Having one of the best closers in the game was one of the reasons the Bucks made a move for Lillard this past off-season. When the team finds themselves trading blows late, they know they can dish the ball to Lillard and let him go to work. It's one of the reasons the Bucks have managed to put together a 12-5 record despite their well-documented early-season struggles.
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