The first half should have been defined by turnovers. Nineteen of them, to be specific. And that was just the Blazers! However, the Clippers couldn't take advantage of the freebies, and the Blazers were still leading at halftime. How? Three-pointers. But really, the first half was like watching a game at the 'Y', and your uncle is playing so you know you can't leave early.
The second half was similar, except with much fewer Blazer turnovers. As a result, they jumped into a double-digit lead. The Clippers just couldn't find their groove, as the Blazers took advantage of their holes on defense and rebounding. By the fourth quarter, they led by 17, and the announcers were discussing the decorations in the arena. Coach Terry Stotts brought in the deep, unguaranteed-contract bench, giving the Clippers the opportunity to "storm back" and steal the game. The Clippers placed their foot in the door... and the Blazers' bench slammed it shut with multiple three-pointers. The whole Blazer team heads back to Portland with possibly a bit more confidence.
Damian Lillard (16 points, 2 assists) is still struggling with his shot in preseason, but he's also clearly the best Blazer on the court.
Nicolas Batum (14 points, 5 rebounds) returned from his concussion tonight, and looked no worse for wear. He's ready for the season to start.
Joel Freeland doesn't look like a starter (his zero points didn't help), but showed some solid defense on Blake Griffin. Plus 6 rebounds and 3 assists, including a nice one in the lane.
Thomas Robinson's offense and overall floor knowledge are works-in-progress, to put it mildly, but his rebounding will get him minutes to develop.
Starting at Shooting Guard, Will Barton finished with a double double, 10 points and 10 rebounds with 2 assists.
Rebounding. The Blazers are simply dominating the boards every night in preseason, including a 56-38 advantage tonight.
Victor Claver is at the top of this list again. He can't be happy with his preseason performance so far. He finally hit a three-pointer to help clinch the game.
Meyers Leonard was on fire with his jumper. Unfortunately, his rebounding was significantly less hot.
EJ Singler will be trying to scrub his memories of his time on the court tonight. The viewers at home will, too. He had a few late assists to salvage the night.
Did I mention that turnover thing? The Blazers finished with 29 of them.
A day off, then a Sunday night home game against Sacramento. Stay tuned for more this weekend! -- Tim