Damian Lillard has been on an absolute tear, and he continued his stellar play against the Miami Heat on Sunday.

The Portland Trail Blazers, who entered play just 1.5 games back of the eighth seed Denver Nuggets, handed the Heat their third loss since the start of March. Lillard was the catalyst, and the All-Star snub hung a season-best 49 points on the streaking Heat.

Heading into the game, Lillard was averaging 29.8 points on 47.8 percent shooting since the All-Star break, and the Blazers had amassed an 8-4 record in those 12 games. Miami had almost no chance at stopping Dame who asserted himself all night long. His 49 came on just 21 attempts from the field and he connected on 14 of them. Of those, he was 9-of-12 from three and buried all 12 of his attempts from the free throw line.

It was nearly a career night for Lillard as he fell just short of eclipsing the 51 he dropped last year against the Golden State Warriors. However, the nine threes tied his personal record (one he set in that 51-point explosion), and it was the sixth time in his young career making 12 shots from the charity stripe.

More importantly, the win puts Portland just one game back of Denver after improving to 32-37.

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