This guy destroyed our Free Throw defense. - Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
After an embarrassing first half, the Portland Trail Blazers mounted an unexpected comeback on TNT, only to come up short.
The Blazers were led by Nicolas Batum (23 points on 6-18 shooting, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) with support from Damian Lillard (16 points, 4 assists) and LaMarcus Aldridge (14 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds). Meyers Leonard deserves a mention for his inspired second-half play, adding 8 points and 6 rebounds. In his return to Portland, Jamal Crawford burned the Blazers all night long, leading the Clippers with 25 points.
The first quarter started out swimmingly. Both sides played ok, and the game stayed close. However, the Clippers looked like the veteran, well-polished team they're expected to be, and slowly grew a lead against the Blazer starters. Los Angeles looked like they had scouted the Blazers well, and Portland's shots weren't falling. They smartly also took advantage of the poor Blazers transition D for easy points, along with their poor rebounding. The Blazers found a way to stay within 7 after one.
Maybe after this time out we'll be able to box out AND rebound
The Blazers quickly cut the lead to three with a short spurt in the second quarter. And just like that, Los Angeles took over.
The Clippers destroyed the cold-shooting Blazers, scoring 14 straight points with ease. Crawford personally sliced and diced the Portland D to take control of the game. Their front line was unstoppable. Soon, the lead was 20, and the Clippers hadn't really broken a sweat yet. Portland was so cold from the field, even Lillard missed a technical free throw. They were so cold, Luke Babbitt made a corner three at the buzzer, by missing so badly, it glanced in off the side of the backboard. To the collective yawn of a nation (or the small number still watching), the Clippers led by 21 at halftime.
This is one of those games, we just act like we forgot how to play basketball. No fluidity, bad decision making, hesitation on every possession. These are the suckiest games to watch.
by Tyler Durrden
In the third quarter, DeAndre Jordan took over. Against Portland's struggling big-man defense, he took it inside at will. Plus, somehow Portland's defense was so poor, Jordan was even making his free throws. Now that's bad defense. But suddenly, like an oasis in the desert, the Blazers sprang to life. Batum and Lillard scored 8 quick points to cut the lead to 14. By the time Aldridge sank his trademark 20-footer, the Clippers 25 point lead was down to 10, and they needed a timeout. Another Lillard three cut the lead to 9, then Batum with another three.... YES! The lead was down to 6 at the end of the third, and the Rose Garden was rocking.
Sigh, I really do not want to get sucked back into this.
by aimlessgun on Nov 8, 2012 9:29 PM PST
I've been officially sucked!
by aimlessgun on Nov 8, 2012 9:32 PM PST
The Blazers made a push to start the fourth, but Crawford personally kept the Clippers ahead. Meanwhile, Leonard gave the Blazers an unexpected boost, with some nice passing and dunking. The Clippers tenuously held onto a 4 point lead. But suddenly, nothing came easy for the Blazers. The shots stopped falling, and they struggled to cut the lead below 6, as the Clippers did just enough to stay comfortably in front. As the Blazers clearly started to wear down, the Clippers pulled away again, in an eerily similar scene to the previous game in Dallas. There would be no further comeback.
The next game is Saturday night, at home against the San Antonio Spurs. Stay tuned tonight for Dave's analysis and Ben's Media Row Report. -- Tim
Portland Trail Blazers tickets for upcoming games available through Blazer's Edge sponsor TiqIQ