Official release

Damian Lillard passes Clyde Drexler as Blazers' all-time scoring leader

Damian Lillard's third-quarter free throw gave him the record Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler had held for the past 27 years.

Damian Lillard passed Clyde Drexler on Monday to become the franchise's all-time leading scorer.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has long talked of his hope of ending his career as the greatest player to ever suit up for the franchise. He took another step toward that goal on Monday night in Oklahoma City.

Lillard scored his 18,041st career point in the third quarter of Portland’s 123-121 loss to the Thunder, surpassing Clyde Drexler as the franchise’s all-time scoring leader.

Drexler, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had 18,040 points for the Trail Blazers from 1983-95 and held the all-time scoring mark for 27 years. Lillard entered the night needing 21 to pass him and finished with 28 against the Thunder.

Lillard tied Drexler’s total on a 3-pointer from well beyond the line in the third quarter that put the Trail Blazers up 72-67, then broke the mark on a free throw with 1:33 left in the period. Moments later, the Thunder public address announcer informed the crowd of Lillard’s achievement, and the crowd gave him an ovation. Lillard sat and rested, focused on a game the Trail Blazers were trailing by three points at the time.

“Obviously it’s not the same as if we had won the game, you feel better about it, but it’s an accomplishment that came with a lot of losses and a lot of wins,” Lillard said. “I don’t want to not acknowledge it, it’s an honor, it’s a great feel to, I guess, reach the top. It’s been a goal of mine and the list has so many great players, the great history of the organization, so to climb it and be number one is a special accomplishment that I’m proud of.

“Even during the game tonight, I wasn’t playing focused on getting to the record. I was playing the game just trying to win. I knew it would happen eventually.”

The NBA Today cast discusses talk Damian Lillard becoming Blazers' all-time leading scorer.

Lillard, 32, is the only player in franchise history with six All-NBA honors and one of three players to be named All-NBA first team while with the Trail Blazers (2017-18). He is a six-time All-Star, a 2021 Olympic gold medalist and was the 2012-13 Kia Rookie of the Year.

“Damian’s commitment to Portland is now incapsulated with this prestigious career milestone,” Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin said in a statement. “His dedication, humility and hard work have been pillars for his path to this very moment. On behalf of the organization, we would like to congratulate Damian on this great achievement and look forward to many more.”

In an interview with Casey Holdahl of, Lillard said he is often in communication via the phone with Drexler and the two have a good relationship.

“I talk to him sometimes about wanting to win here and he’s like ‘I want you to be the guy to win there, too, you deserve it,'” Lillard said. “Just always encouraging me and always been supportive of the mission I’m on. We’ve always had a solid relationship, honestly.

“I would imagine when I’m about to turn 60 years old and there’s a record that’s about to be broken decades later, I don’t think when I get to that point I’m going to still be holding on to a record. So much life has happened, he’s a Hall of Famer, he’s Clyde. This won’t take away from who he is, it’s just another step in history.”

Aside from being the Blazers’ top scorer, Lillard is also No. 1 in 3-pointers made and attempted by a large margin as well as Portland’s all-time leader in free throws made and free throw percentage. He ranks in the team’s top five in games played (730), assists (4,859), field goals made (5,886) and attempted (13,451) as well as free throw attempts (4,533).

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.