Damian Lillard passes Clyde Drexler, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sinks Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard entered Monday needing 21 points to pass Portland Trail Blazers icon Clyde Drexler as the franchise's all-time leading scorer. He got there in the third quarter, only to watch Shai Gilgeous-Alexander steal the scene at the buzzer.

With a free throw against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lillard scored his 18,041st point to etch his name atop the Trail Blazers record book.

He finished Monday with 28 points, including two tough buckets in traffic in the game's final minute.

But it wasn't enough for Portland, as Gilgeous-Alexander sank the Blazers with a buzzer beater to secure a 123-121 Thunder win.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished the night with 35 points and six assists while hitting all 14 of his free throws. His heroics continued a breakout campaign and looked a lot like Lillard's over the years. Lillard's 28 points led the Blazers, but he'll have to settle on Monday for his new place in Trail Blazers history.

Will Lillard's record be broken?

Drexler played 11-plus seasons in Portland and led the Trail Blazers to the NBA Finals in 1992, losing to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. He averaged 20.8 points in 867 career games before a midseason trade to the Houston Rockets during the 1994-95 season.

Lillard, 32, is on pace to shatter the record if he finishes his career in Portland. The six-time All-Star is averaging 24.7 points for his career and surpassed Drexler in his 730th NBA game. Injuries have hampered Lillard this season and last. But when he's healthy, he's showing no signs of slowing down.

Lillard's been limited to 19 of Portland's 31 games this season. He's made the most of his availability while posting 28.3 points per game and shooting 39.8% from 3-point distance entering Monday night. He's thrived since returning from a calf strain while averaging 31.5 points in the seven games since his Dec. 4 return. One of the league's best free-throw shooters (89.3% for his career), it's fitting that Lillard broke the record at the stripe.

Drexler and Lillard are both members of the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team honoring the 75 best players in the history of the league. Drexler's in the Hall of Fame. It won't take long for Lillard to hear his name called after he's retired.

Dec 19, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) is defended by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) on a drive during the first quarter at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Damian Lillard made Trail Blazers history, but Portland lost a heartbreaker. (Alonzo Adams/Reuters) (USA Today Sports / reuters)