USA TODAY Sports
In arguably the most boring win of the season, the Portland Trail Blazers took an early lead then hung on all night, cruising comfortably for a victory before they hit the road.
The Blazers spread the scoring around tonight, with seven players in double figures. LaMarcus Aldridge had a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds, with 5 assists. Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard each scored 20, while JJ Hickson and the surging Meyers Leonard each scored 15 (a career-high for Meyers). Wesley Matthews added 14 points, while Eric Maynor provided 10 off the bench.
First Half: Surprisingly similar to Saturday's Minnesota game. The Blazers used their strengths to take an early lead, and stayed ahead by around 10 for most of the first half. The nice part? Lots of tough shots were falling, such as step-back three's. Both teams were surprisingly strong on the offensive boards (21 combined!), and the Blazers took a 13 point lead into the locker room, including a season-high for first half scoring.
McGowan interrupts the broadcast and the Bobcats go on a run. Coincidence, I think not?
Third Quarter: More of the same. The Blazers maintained a lead of around 10, and Charlotte couldn't break through. The Blazers started to pull away, inching to a 17 point lead, but gave up 5 late points to lead by 12 after three. Batum's hot shooting was interesting, and that was about it. Everyone yawned.
My parents moved out of Portland and live in a rural area a few miles from Wilsonville. I went into Wilsonville when visiting them and all the punk kids hung out at the Wendys parking lot, hahahaha.
by Mortimer [Yes, the game was so boring that Mortimer entertained MiledAnimal with Wilsonville stories]
Fourth Quarter: Batum continued his hot shooting, preventing Charlotte from making a dent in the Blazer lead. Finally after a steal, the play of the night: On a 4-on-1 break, Lillard bounced a behind-the-back pass to Batum, who touch-passed to Leonard, for an easy dunk. Soon after, Maynor leaves a beautiful alley-oop for a Victor Claver dunk. For some reason, the Blazer starters returned as they led by 18 at the midway point. Charlotte immediately made a run, cutting the lead to 11 in two minutes. But Lillard and Aldridge stemmed the tide, bumping the lead to 16 with just over two minutes left. Charlotte's hopes ended, and the game followed soon after.
Stay tuned for more analysis from Blazer’s Edge later tonight. In the meantime, check out the upcoming Blazers schedule. -- Tim