Damian Lillard played through separated ribs as the Portland Trail Blazers went 3-0 down to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, according to multiple reports following Saturday night’s game.
Lillard took a spill in the second half of Game 2 while fighting for a loose ball and landed awkwardly on the court, with Warriors big man Kevon Looney landing on top of him. He grimaced and was slow to get up, but continued with his regular allotment of minutes.
ESPN confirmed The Athletic’s original report of the injury, but quoted a source who downplayed its significance, saying, “Not a story, he always plays through injuries.”
Lillard, 28, is averaging 20.3 points, 7.3 assists and five rebounds per game in the series, but he’s shooting just 15 of 46 (32.9 percent) from the field and has committed 14 turnovers. He went 5 of 18 from the floor and coughed the ball up five times while scoring 19 in Saturday’s home loss.
During the regular season, Lillard averaged 25.8 points, 6.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and committing 2.7 turnovers per game.
The Warriors have frequently blitzed Lillard with two defenders on pick-and-rolls, forcing the ball out of his hands.
“You go up against a wall of defense, sometimes it’s three defenders,” Lillard told reporters after the Game 3 loss. “It’s tough because you’re not always going to get a quality look, and then when you do get a quality look and don’t make it, that just kind of makes it worse.”
Game 4 takes place in Portland in the early hours of Tuesday morning live on Sky Sports Arena.