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Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard gets drug tested after dropping career-high 71 points in win over Rockets

Seven-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard set a franchise record when he scored a career-best 71 points in the Portland Trail Blazers 131-114 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night, but the celebrations were cut short when immediately after the game he had to submit to a drug test.

The crowd at the Moda Center broke out in “MVP” chants after Lillard, 32, broke his own franchise mark of 61 points and tied Donovan Mitchell for the most points in a game this season.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, is doused by teammates after setting franchise and career highs with 71 points during an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Portland, Oregon, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

However, the celebrations would have to wait until after Lillard, who is surprisingly afraid of needles, had to give a blood-drawn drug test – a first in his career.

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“Honestly, I was like ‘are y’all serious?’ Lillard said of his reaction to the drug test.

“I did the urine test yesterday and they backed it up with the blood-draw tonight after the game – that’s actually the first time in my career being tested after a game. And then aside from that, they know that I’m scared of needles.”

Damian Lillard, #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers, drives against the Houston Rockets in the first quarter at the Moda Center on Feb.  26, 2023 in Portland, Oregon.

Damian Lillard, #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers, drives against the Houston Rockets in the first quarter at the Moda Center on Feb. 26, 2023 in Portland, Oregon. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

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“I know I got a lot of tattoos, but when you’re doing the blood draw, it’s different than tattoos. But it brought me down from up here,” Lillard said motioning with his hand, “to the floor. All the way.” until it was done and then once I was finished, I was like ‘alright, I got that out the way.'”

Lillard’s stellar night marked the eighth-most points scored in a game in To install NBA history.

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“It really, really was a masterful performance,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said after the game. “It was a piece of art. That was incredible.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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