VIDEO: Damian Lillard's game-winner lifts Blazers over Hornets

With the game tied at 92, Damian Lillard nailed a deep three over Ryan Anderson to give the Trail Blazers a lead they wouldn't lose. The Blazers have won three straight.

When some players step up to the NBA, they exude a certain poise and confidence that just seems innate. Dwyane Wade had it in 2003. Kyrie Irving had it last season. And the Blazers' Damian Lillard definitely has it. This game-winning three to beat the Hornets is just an example of what he brings to Portland: a canny awareness of the moment, the self-assurance to make it happen and, of course, incredible skill.

Portland is mighty lucky to have this kid.

Lillard remains the overwhelming early-season favorite for Rookie of the Year. Anthony Davis (who finished Sunday's tete a tete with 15 points and five rebounds) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will have something to say about it before the season ends, but the fact that Portland is 11-12 behind their rookie point guard speaks volumes. Lillard didn't have a great game on Sunday, but he sure made his presence felt.

The Blazers are quietly in the Western Conference playoff race. Who would have thought it possible?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.