Damian Lillard is good enough to be a perennial All-Star in the NBA, but playing in the stacked Western Conference has left the Portland Trail Blazers point guard constantly on the outside looking in every All-Star Weekend.

Lillard was once again left off the Western Conference All-Star team, as his stats of fifth in the conference in scoring (26.2 points), 11th in assists (5.8), and 12th in 3-pointers made (104) were not enough to secure him a spot.

Lillard is the first player to miss consecutive All-Star Games while averaging 25 a night since 1986 also.

Choosing to take the high road, Lillard got deep when describing how the snub motivates him from within, as he addressed the media during a postgame interview following Friday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Not subconsciously, consciously,” Lillard said. “Anytime something like that happens, you gotta find the right place to put it. You can’t make yourself get too much into it, and take yourself out of what the team is doing. You’ve gotta try throw yourself into the team and be better. That’s what I gotta do. I gotta be better, and that’s the bottom line.”

Lillard scored 15 points in the fourth quarter against Memphis, finishing with 33 points on 9-of-21 shooting, five rebounds and six assists to extend Portland’s winning streak to three games.

Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook were named backcourt reserves for the West on Thursday, with the other two spots going to DeAndre Jordan and Gordon Hayward.

-- ThaCover2


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