The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge (20 points, 10 rebounds), Damian Lillard (25 points, 8 assists) and Nicolas Batum (18 points). They were not led by the bench, who had a game reminiscent of last season.
First Quarter: It was all about the big guys early, as Nene and Lopez scored many of the early points. The Wizards struggled to score early, and thing looked primed for a Blazer run. But it wasn't to be, as a couple lazy passes and missed three-pointers kept them close until they heated up. Soon, they jumped ahead behind three-pointers, and Portland played catch-up through the end of the quarter.
Washington 32, Portland 29
Wizards are moving better than the Blazers right now. They’re getting extra passes and guys are getting to the right spots. Blazers need to catch up.
Second Quarter: The Wiz continued their hot-shooting, including former Blazer Martell Webster with a three-point play on a jumper. Despite Blazer turnovers, it took a half-quarter for Washington to push their lead to 7, only for Lillard, Matthews, Williams and Aldridge to hit 6 consecutive shots to take a 5 point lead. The lead reached 8, but ugly turnovers betrayed them again, repeatedly giving the Wiz free points. A terrible end to the half for the Blazers, who fell behind despite shooting 61%.
Washington 56, Portland 55
LMA, stop shooting! You're hurting your team!
Third Quarter: A new quarter, and more lazy, sloppy Blazer turnovers. The Wizards took advantage, shooting over 50% from three to pull ahead by 7. It was one of those quarters where even the tough shots from the Wizards kept falling in the bucket. Out of a Blazer timeout, they promptly turned it over for another Wizards dunk. Portland made Kevin Seraphin look All-NBA, as he pushed the Washington lead into double-digits. Yet another ugly quarter for the Blazers, who only scored 14 points.
Washington 82, Portland 69
This coasting through the game til the 4th quarter is not fun.
Fourth Quarter: Seraphin scored twice to give the Wiz a quick 17 point lead, as the game started to look like a rout. They started jacking three-pointers to spur a comeback, but that just led to easy Wiz rebounds. Finally, the Blazers started getting defensive stops, and Lillard cut the deficit to 10 with 8 minutes left. They pulled within single digits at the halfway point, but they could only get as close as 6 points with a minute left. They couldn't stop the Wizards, and at the other end their offense just wasn't clicking. The Blazers headed to the airport to think about a very winnable game they let slip away due to their own mistakes.
A day off, then a big game, on ESPN against the New York Knicks. In the meantime, stay tuned for more analysis from Dave later tonight.
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night:
Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's Gameday Thread! As always, here are the most popular comments, based on the number of Rec's from their fellow fans: