After dropping an impressive 71 points Sunday night, NBA star Damian Lillard rightfully celebrated his new career high. But his celebration was cut short when he had to submit to a drug test immediately following the game.
What A Game! Damian Lillard Drops 71 Points!
During the Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets game, Lillard, 32, scored 71 points, including 13 3-pointers. This is not only a career-high for him, but also a new franchise record breaking his own record of 61 points. He also became the eighth player in NBA history to score 70 or more points in a game. But all his celebrating had to come to an abrupt end when he was summoned for a drug test before the building was even emptied of fans.
Lillard had just done a urine drug test the day prior to the game, so he was a bit surprised that he had to get a blood test immediately following the game.
“I mean, honestly, I was like, are ya’ll serious? I did the urine test yesterday, then they backed it up with blood draw tonight after the game. That was actually my first time in my career being tested after a game,” he said during a postgame interview.
“And then aside from that, they know that I’m scared of needles. I know I got a lot of tattoos but when you doing the blood draw, it’s different than tattoos. But it brought me down from here to the floor all the way until it was done. And then once I finished, I was alright I got that out of the way.”
By halftime, the NBA star already had 41 points and eight 3-pointers. That was the most points in a half for any player in the league this season. By the start of the fourth quarter, he had 50 points.
Lillard, known for his humility, wasn’t sure how to celebrate this big win. “I think any hooper enjoys those moments when you’re hot, you’re in attack mode, you’re feeling good,” he said. “But it’s the stuff afterward that I struggle with, like when I walked off the court, was I supposed to be overly excited, or what?”
Damian Lillard’s Day Didn’t Start Off So Great
According to Bleacher Report, Lillard’s day leading up to his career-high game didn’t start out so smooth. “Everything went wrong. He woke up late, missed his routine treatment appointment. He didn’t have time to go out for his pregame meal, so he just ordered in, except, the delivery person got lost. And it only gets worse from here,” a video shared on TikTok explains.
“He scheduled his driver for the wrong time. He lost his NBA All-Star three-point contest trophy, which he was supposed to bring to the game. So he sent his mom to his house to find it, which she couldn’t. He also forgot his HBCU sweatshirt for HBCU night and had to go all the way to the practice facility to go and get it.”
The video continues explaining that his day was anything but routine, and athletes love their routines. “And even after dropping 71 points, he had to finish the day getting his blood drawn for a ‘random’ drug test.”
Other Players Have Been Drug Tested After High Scoring Games
Last month, Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell found himself in the same position as Lillard on Sunday night. Mitchell also scored 71 points and was drug tested by the league the following day.
Andddd just like that we are drug tested this morning 😂😂😂 https://t.co/LvlbcPDucP
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) January 3, 2023
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has also been drug tested after impressive games this season. He actually revealed that he was drug tested seven times this season so far.
been drug tested like 6 times this season . walked in the arena & found out i got another one today 😂🙄😒
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) January 17, 2023
According to Sportskeeda, all NBA players are subject to four random drug tests each NBA season, and two random tests during the off-season. In addition to random testing, players can be tested for a reasonable cause. If the league feels there is credible information that a player has been using drugs, they can test the player four times within a six-week time period.