Lillard's dramatic 37-foot 3-pointer came as the final horn sounded, giving the Blazers a 118-115 victory in Game 5 of the first round Western Conference playoff series on Tuesday in Portland, Ore. Portland won the series 4-1 and faces the Denver Nuggets or San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals.
"It was a great feeling," Lillard told reporters. "When it left my hands, it felt good. I felt good about it. The last five or six minutes of the game, I just kept telling myself that for us to get this game we were going to have to really, really dig to come out on top."
The Thunder held a 37-29 advantage after the first quarter, led by Paul George's 15 points in the frame. Lillard erupted for 19 first-quarter points for the Blazers. But George was limited in the second quarter after picking up his third foul, allowing the Blazers to take a 61-60 lead at the half. Lillard scored 15 points in the second frame, to have a total of 34 points at halftime.
The Western Conference foes went punch for punch in the third quarter, with Oklahoma City taking a 90-88 edge into the final frame.
The Thunder pushed its lead to 15 points in the fourth quarter, before Lillard and C.J. McCollum led their squad back. McCollum hit a game-tying jumper with 57 seconds remaining, but George answered on the next possession with a jump shot for the Thunder. Lillard tied the game on the following possession with a reverse lay-up, before Thunder star Russell Westbrook missed a lay-up with 18 seconds remaining.
That set up Lillard's long ball for the win. George eyed the Blazers star as he dribbled near half-court. Lillard took a few dribbles before heaving up the low-percentage look. The ball fell through the net and Lillard was mobbed by his teammates after the final horn sounded.
George had 36 points, nine rebounds and three assists in the loss. Westbrook posted another triple-double, scoring 29 points with 14 assists, 11 rebounds and four steals for the Thunder.
Lillard had seven rebounds, six assists and three steals, in addition to his 50 points. McCollum scored 17 points for Portland.
"It's very disappointing," George said. "It's as simple as that. Very disappointing. We let this one slip away. But it is what it is."