My dear sainted mother used to tell me all the time, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
Extending that philosophy to its logical conclusion, our recap of the Portland Trail Blazers' victory over the Denver Nuggets tonight should be infinitely long. The final score ended up 130-113 but the Blazers might as well have scored 330. The game was over by halftime and everybody got to have a fun little romp through the rest of the evening. Except the Nuggets, that is. They paraded through a 48-minute walk of shame, getting booed off of their own court by a righteously indignant crowd. But hey, that's what you get when Damian Lillard goes ham and Robin Lopez brings the cheese.
We barely need a game flow recap for a game this lopsided. Suffice it to say the Blazers found a neat little lifehack for the 30-points they allow every single first period they play. Tonight they gave the Nuggets 28 (dodging 30 through a couple missed Denver layups) but they scored 39. That'll work. The Blazers scored at the rim, then opened up with the fusillade of threes. The Nuggets didn't challenge. They didn't dive into their foxholes. They just stood there and watched. If this were a video game, you'd suspect the guy controlling Denver had a button or two broken.
The second quarter didn't go any better for Denver. In addition to scoring at the cup and beyond the arc, the Blazers added forced turnovers and offensive rebounds to their repertoire. At that point it became a massacre. When you score 60 points in the first half you're doing something right. When you score 84 points in the first half, you're doing everything right.
Predictably the second half devolved into an extended scrimmage. Denver fought a little. Portland let the second-unit guys stretch their legs. Denver closed the lead but never threatened it. Portland walked away with a 17 point win. If necessary it could have been 77.
The Blazers strained the Nuggets through a sieve, puréed their remains, and served them up to their own fans on toast. Nasty.
Fun With Numbers
--The Blazers shot 51% from the field but that pales in comparison to their 49% clip from the three-point arc. That's 16 of 33 triples hit. Wow.
--30 assist on 45 made field goals ain't bad either.
--The Blazers also scored prodigiously in the paint compared to their norm...44 points.
--Top it off with 9 blocked shots.
We could say more, but we'll not rub it in.
Everybody but LaMarcus Aldridge played well on the offensive end tonight. The Blazers didn't need LaMarcus, otherwise he would have played well also. Oh...and Aldridge got 6 blocked shots, so neener-neener.
Running down the whole list of gold stars would get redundant quickly, so here are some stand-out performances.
Robin Lopez was not only scoring inside, he was beating Denver down the court on the fast break. That's either amazing or really, really sad depending on what side of the ball you're on. 8-11 shots for 19 points.
Allen Crabbe started again and, while he didn't exactly light the court on fire, at least contributed 7 points in 18 minutes.
Chris Kaman scored 16 on 6-8 shooting in 22 minutes (plus 7 rebounds and 2 blocks)...not because this was Denver, but because he's Chris Kaman.
CJ McCollum had a big night off the bench with 15 points in 23 minutes, including 3-6 three-point shooting.
Will Barton had a sweet little dunk and 6 points. Plus we're really feeling what Joel Freeland is dishing out lately. Nod of respect towards him.
Oops...almost forgot Damian Lillard and his 27 points on 10-16 shooting, 5-6 three-pointers made. Wowzers. Also he had 9 assists. Ty Lawson had 32 but Lillard played 10 fewer minutes.
130 points. Yikes. The only possible cautions from this game come in examining aggregate stats for the season. Everybody needs to observe a moratorium on conclusions for the next week because this big of an outing is going to make the offense and the bench look way better than they did 24 hours ago. But what the heck...woot away! The Blazers certainly deserved it tonight.
Our Instant Recap includes a game flow summary and post-game reaction.
The Denver Stiffs recap will probably consist of one word: "Ouch!" That might be followed by, "Mommy!" Yeah, Lopez is your mommy now, guys.