Lillard scores career high; Jimmer finds his shot

By Andrew Devey, ksl.com Contributor | Posted - Jan 15th, 2013 @ 5:21pm


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This past week Damian Lillard returned home to Oakland, Calif., and scored a career high 37 points against the Golden State Warriors. Lillard hit 15-of-22 shots from the field, including seven 3-pointers, but the Blazers fell 103-97 on the road.

After trialing by as many as 20 points, Lillard began to heat up and take the game over in the third quarter. He scored 29 points in the second half and brought the Blazers back to within three in front of dozens of family and friends who attended the game.

Many NBA experts are ready to name Lillard an all-star and award him rookie of the year after his career performance.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, drives on Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

"Congratulations to Damion [sic] Lillard on offically wrapping up the Rooking of the Year award tonight," TNT analyst Stever Kerr tweeted after the Golden State game.

Even reigning MVP LeBron James had high praise for the 22-year old rookie out of Weber State after Portland best the Heat, 92-90.

"He's exceeded all expectations and more," James said. "He will become great. He's one of the good point guards we have in our league today. They continue to come. Our league is full of really good point guards, and he's one of them."

Lillard posted average numbers against the defending NBA champs, 10 points and eight assists, but got the W and fared better than Jimmer Fredette and the Sacramento Kings did against Miami.

Fredette scored nine points in 15 mintues of play in a 128-99 loss to the Heat as the Kings trailed the entire game.

His playing time continues to be sporadic at best, but the second-year pro sparked his team by scoring eight of his 16 points in fourth quarter of Monday night's 124-118 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Fredette made 5-of-8 shots, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc in 14 minutes of play. He is currently 9th in the NBA in 3-point percentage at 42.7 percent.

"You just got to stay ready. That's the best thing that you can do," Fredette told the Internation Business Times when asked about his playing time in an exclusive interview. "Whenever you get your name called, you just got to be ready to play, and do the best you can when you get out there."

The Kings host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday before swinging throught the South on a three-game road trip. Meanwhile the Blazers play at Denver Tuesday night and then host five straight games at home.

Andrew Devey is a BYU senior studying communications. You can follow him on Twitter @adevey or watch him follow Fredette and Lillard's NBA season at bit.ly/JimmerLillard

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Andrew Devey

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