Final: Cavs Outplay the Blazers, 93-88

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The Cleveland Cavaliers sneered at the home court advantage of the Portland Trail Blazers, streaking to an early 19 point lead. It was too much for the Blazers to overcome, as they lose to the second-worst team in the NBA, missing their second-best player. This was one of the worst games of the season.

The Blazers were led by the starters, as per usual.

First Half: Let's pretend the first half never happened. The Blazers barely showed up, getting a small lead then falling quickly behind the Cavs. Poor shooting, missed defensive assignments, you name it, it happened. Plus Kyrie Irving reminded Portland why he's the up-and-coming point guard, while Lillard wilted under Cleveland's pressure. Thanks to Batum, the Blazers stuck within 5 after one quarter, but fell behind by 19 in the second quarter as the Rose Garden crowd howled in frustration. The woe-is-them Cavs, minus their best rebounder, led by 17 at halftime.

We are getting schooled by the 2nd worst team in the league. The 9-31 Cavs.
by cavejunctionblazer

Third Quarter: Here come the Blazers! The "usual" comeback began, and hit its stride with a monster Hickson dunk on the break. Within 3 minutes, the lead was single digits. However, the Cavs held their ground there, preventing the lead from dropping further. From there, it turned into a game of "which team is playing uglier?". They also played that game to a standstill, as the Cavs still led by 9 after three.

The first half was like getting beat-up by a big dude. The third quarter is like getting beat-up by his sister.
by MiledAnimal

Fourth Quarter: The Blazers started crawling in again, finally tying the game, 75-75, on a rare Lillard bucket. However, as the 6 minute mark passed, Cleveland regained a 4 point lead. Each time the Blazers get close, Irving has the answer. When CJ Miles hit a three off the inbound pass, Cleveland took a 6 point lead with under 3 minutes left. In turn, Hickson was fouled on a score, missed the free throw, and Batum tipped it in for a 4 point play. After Cleveland missed, Lillard nailed a three to give the Blazers their first lead since early in the first quarter. It lasted three seconds before Irving again had an answer. With under a minute left, Aldridge had a chance at the lead but threw away a pass. At the other end, Lillard played nice defense on Irving, who shrugged him off and banked in a jumper with 26 seconds left. That three point buffer was enough to hold on for an improbable Cleveland victory.

Box score | Portland Trail Blazers tickets via TiqIQ

Stay tuned for more analysis from Blazer’s Edge later tonight. In the meantime, check out the upcoming Blazers schedule. -- Tim [blazer.timmay@gmail.com]

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