A reminder on The Horry Scale: It breaks down a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety night in November?) and celebration. Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, named for the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.
The Portland Trail Blazers arrived in Chicago for Saturday’s battle against the Bulls with two straight losses and four in their past six as they scuffled along without the injured C.J. McCollum. Having squandered a 19-point lead, defeat was staring them in the face as Coby White’s free throws gave the Bulls a 122-117 advantage with 11.5 remaining. Enter Damian Lillard.
GAME SITUATION: With 38 points to that point, Lillard quickly splashed a 37-footer with 8.2 seconds left to cut the deficit to two. The Blazers then trapped Zach LaVine in the corner on the ensuing inbound pass, forcing a jump ball. Gary Trent Jr. managed to fumble the loose ball over to Lillard after the jump, where he picked it up, dribbled back behind the line just above the right break and sank a drifting, fading 3 over Lauri Markkanen as the horn sounded.
DIFFICULTY: Insane. We’ve seen this type of skill and game awareness from Lillard many times before. But that doesn’t make it any less remarkable as he finished with a Reggie Miller-esque six points in 8.2 seconds to burnish his legend as one of the decade’s best clutch shot-makers.
CELEBRATION: The usual swarm-the-dude-who-won-the-game scrum. The real fun came in the locker room after Lillard finished up his courtside interviews, where the Blazers showed their obvious affection for their team leader with an exuberant ice-water shower.