With the Houston Rockets up seven and holding the ball with about 12 seconds left, Paul went in for an uncontested layup instead of running out the clock.
Lillard followed Paul around the court as the clock wound down and had words with him after the buzzer. Lillard eventually tried to swat the ball out of Paul’s hands before walking off the court.
“I just asked him, I said, ‘What did you get out of that?'” Lillard said to reporters after the game. “He said, ‘Y’all wasn’t guarding.’ But we got back. There was two guys back. We got back. He was sprinting the court to get the layup and CJ [McCollum] was chasing him. I just felt like in that situation, if you’ve got to do that to go get the layup, what’s the point of it?”
Lillard said the Blazers lost the game “fair and square,” but he was frustrated that Paul had broken an unwritten rule by going for the hoop in the closing seconds when the contest was decided.
“I think as far as sportsmanship goes and respect, if the roles were reversed, I don’t think they would like it,” Lillard said. “They had two guys up the floor. I think [Shabazz Napier] ran back, I ran back for that reason. … We get two guys back, and he pretty much sprinted down the court to get the layup. CJ was chasing him. At that point, you just wonder, like, what is that going to do for you? What was you trying to get right there? And that’s what I asked him.”
Paul shrugged off the incident after the game.
“They were still trapping,” said Paul, who was double-teamed to be denied the inbounds pass after McCollum’s layup.