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Top local sports stories in 2019

Two faraway games with local ties, and one faraway shot that really had no business making it topped our list of most-read sports stories this year.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Dame Lillard's farewell gift to his OKC friends will forever remain in our hearts, and the Pacific Northwest athlete diaspora made its presence felt across the country and around the world this year.

Here's a look at the local sports stories you loved in 2019.

Lillard seals 50-point masterpiece with game-winning 37-foot 3-pointer

Damian Lillard called it the best night of his career.

He scored a franchise-record 50 points as the Trail Blazers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5, sending Portland to the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs.

But all that really mattered that night was the final shot. A buzzer beater. For the win. FROM 37 FEET! And he waved goodbye to the Thunder.

Dame Lillard became "Logo Lillard," and Blazers fans shared a moment they'll never forget. And then a photo of a stone-faced Lillard took on a life of its own. 

Alas, Portland didn't make it to the NBA Finals, but Blazers fans shared a moment they'll never forget.

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12 players with ties to Oregon, Washington in the Super Bowl

With the Rams and Patriots facing off in Super Bowl LIII, it wouldn't seem like there was much for Pacific Northwesterners to get too excited about. Until we looked deeper and realized that 12 players suiting up for the game went to Oregon and Washington schools.

Two of the Rams players came from Portland high schools: Ndamukong Suh played at Grant and Samson Ebukam played at David Douglas. Patriots punter Ryan Allen played at West Salem. And the other nine players were evenly split between Oregon, Oregon State and Washington.

MORE: 12 players with ties to Oregon, Washington in the Super Bowl

US wins 4th World Cup title, 2nd in a row

Another faraway game with a lot of local ties: The Women's World Cup in Lyons, France this summer.

The U.S. won its 2nd World Cup title in a row, with soccer star Megan Rapinoe taking home the Golden Ball as top player and the Golden Boot as top scorer.

Rapinoe played at the University of Portland and lives in Seattle. She made headlines by calling out FIFA during a news conference over equal pay the night before the match. 

RELATED: 'Equal pay! Equal pay!' World Cup crowd breaks into chant after U.S. women win title match

Her team won while simultaneously making a strong statement for gender equity.

Four Portland Thorns also made the roster for the U.S. team: midfielders Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan, defender Emily Sonnett and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.

RELATED: 'I could cry': Fans celebrate U.S. women's World Cup title at viewing party in Portland

And Portland lived up to its nickname of Soccer City USA as locals headed out to bars, restaurants, and even into the trees to watch the Women’s World Cup final.

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