The Portland Trail Blazers fell short of the postseason for the second straight year while still managing to win 33 games, a six-game improvement from the prior season. Damian Lillard kicked off his 11th season in Portland with a pair of 41-point performances in the season’s first three games and never let up as he finished third in the league in scoring with a career-high 32.2 points per game. It was the seventh All-Star season of Lillard’s career as well as his seventh All-NBA selection, earning a nod on the Third Team for the second time. The legendary sharpshooter became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer on December 19, breaking a record that had stood since 1995 and finished the season ranked sixth all-time in career 3-pointers and 50-point games. He became just the eighth player in NBA history to record at least 70 points in a game when he erupted for 71 on February 26, setting a career-high in points and 3-pointers with 13 while also winning the Three-Point Contest for the first time. The 2022-23 season also featured the continued development of Portland’s young core — fifth-year guard Anfernee Simons averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game, while 19-year-old rookie Shaedon Sharpe showed immense potential. Sharpe joined Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Luka Dončić as the only teenagers in NBA history to produce a game with at least 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. In his ninth season, Jerami Grant eclipsed the 20-point per game threshold for the second time and shot 40 percent from downtown for the first time.
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