In the frenzied celebration following his buzzer-beating 3-pointer to eliminate the Houston Rockets from the playoffs, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillardgrabbed the public address microphone and shouted:
The hometown crowd roared.
The shot gave Portland a 99-98 victory in Game 6 on Friday night and propelled the Blazers to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in 14 years.
"That’s definitely the biggest shot of my life," Lillard said, adding with a smile: "So far."
Portland, making its first playoff appearance since 2011, had been eliminated in the first round in its last six trips, and hadn’t advanced to the second round since 2000.
Bradley Beal scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Trevor Ariza added 22 and the Wizards held off the Pacers with a stout defense over the final 7½ minutes Monday night to get a 102-96 win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.