Damian Lillard owned this game for the Blazers, scoring 21 points (on 5-6 three-point shooting) with 6 assists. Former Jazz player Wesley Matthews also had a great night with 24 points (on 4-6 three-point shooting). LaMarcus Aldridge reminded Utah why he's a deserving All-Star with a 20 point, 15 rebound night. And Nicolas Batum finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Keep in mind all these stats were accumulated in the first three quarters, in fact Lillard didn't score in the second half! For the night, the Blazers shot an insane 17-23 from three-point land.
First Quarter: After two big victories, the Blazers found themselves nicely in a groove. Lillard opened up the game early with hot shooting, and the rest of the team shut down the Jazz. As the crowd enjoyed a dominant quarter, the Blazers had a last-second fast break ending in a Lillard three that missed so badly, it banked in.
Portland 39, Utah 22
Second Quarter: Dorell Wright and Lillard opened the quarter with two three-pointers to push the lead over 20. But Portland's bench struggled to keep the momentum, as multiple turnovers led to cutting the lead to 14. As the offense continued to struggle, Utah took advantage, hitting over the Blazer defense again and again to pull within 8. Blazers Coach Terry Stotts called timeout. The downright-terrible Blazer defense allowed Utah to open the quarter shooting 8/9 from the field, but the Jazz couldn't get closer than 8 points. The Blazer starters returned to maintained the status quo, despite insanely-hot shooting from Utah. A Matthews three-pointer late kept the lead in double digits, which is appropriate since the Blazer lead was buoyed overall by their 10-13 three-point shooting.
Portland 67, Utah 56
Lillard could have 50 in this game if he wanted.
Third Quarter: More sizzling three-point shooting from Portland! Two minutes into the quarter, the Blazer lead was back to 21 and Utah needed a timeout. It didn't help, as the Blazers bombed away over a shellshocked Jazz team, taking a 30 point lead at the halfway point. Jazz Coach Ty Corbin took a timeout with his team outscored 28-5 in the quarter, losing by 34, attempting a new strategy to stem the tide. Stotts brought some of the bench in, hoping this lead would be easier to defend. They needn't worry, as Matthews and Mo Williams promptly hit three's to push the lead to 38.
Portland 107, Utah 69
My wife just asked me why they don't have a mercy rule in the NBA.
by T Darkstar
Fourth Quarter: How out of control was this game? Meyers Leonard started the quarter, and Allen Crabbe joined him shortly after. Utah returned the favor by emptying their bench as well. What transpired from there is best not to describe, and instead left to each individual's imagination. However, it's worth noting that Leonard still didn't look ready for NBA minutes, Crabbe hit two three-pointers, and sometime after that, streamers fell.
Stay tuned for more later tonight from Ben and Dave. The Blazers are right back in action at home tomorrow night, against the Dallas Mavericks. -- Tim
Comments of the night!
Thanks to everyone who participates in our nightly Gameday Threads! I always quote a few favorites in the recap, but for a little extra fun, these were the most popular comments of the night based on number of recs. See if you can pick out the lyrics from cheese 90's rap tunes!