After a marathon game versus the defending champions, Portland needed a break. New Orleans gave them all the rest they needed.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Damian Lillard had 17, and the Trail Blazers blew out the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center, 114-88 Saturday night.
Despite playing three overtimes the night before, the Blazers showed little exhaustion in the first quarter, tearing out to an early lead. For much of the quarter, Aldridge had more points than the entire Pelicans team did combined. Anthony Davis shot just 2-of-9 in the quarter, the Blazers grabbed five offensive rebounds and recorded two blocks, and Portland led by 15 after one.
The second unit for Portland went to work in quarter number two, with Chris Kaman scoring eight and Thomas Robinson adding six. Ryan Anderson and Austin Rivers combined for 26 for the Pelicans as they attempted to rally, forcing Robinson, Kaman, and Joel Freeland into foul trouble. Despite their efforts, Portland extended their lead to 18 at halftime.
Portland continued the onslaught into the second half, with Lillard scoring 11 in the period and Kaman adding 9. Davis continued to be entirely ineffective against the Portland defense, and Portland expanded the lead to 32.
The bench played the entire fourth quarter for both squads, and even though the Blazers bench missed its first ten shots of the period, New Orleans could not capitalize. They didn't make any kind of run before the final buzzer, as Meyers Leonard capped the game with a late three-pointer.
Chris Kaman finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Thomas Robinson had 12.
Portland's 22 wins this season are tied with Golden State for most in the NBA. #RipCity— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) December 21, 2014
With tonight's win, Portland improves to 5-1 this season in the second halves of back-to-backs.— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) December 21, 2014
The Trail Blazers now have three winning streaks this season of at least five games (9, Nov. 9-26; 5, Nov. 30-Dec. 9; 5, Dec. 13-20).— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) December 21, 2014
No RoLo. No problem. Thomas Robinson, Chris Kaman and Joel Freeland combined for 30pts and 12rebs on 15-20 shooting pic.twitter.com/9DgZOBET6j— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) December 21, 2014
Batum said he knew@last night he had to try and play after seeing how many mins the starters played #Blazers— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) December 21, 2014
Clinical, vicious performance from the Blazers tonight in New Orleans. Super-impressive coming off triple OT. That team is goooood— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) December 21, 2014
Nic Batum comes back from injury to score 11 points (5-8) and did all of his damage at the rim pic.twitter.com/awgRIZDId4— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) December 21, 2014
No 3OT hangover for Blazers. They beat Pelicans 114-88 Saturday – their largest margin of victory (26) this season— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 21, 2014
LaMarcus Aldridge last five games: 24.8 points, 14.2 rebounds, 48% shooting, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks. @trailblazers 5-0. #blazers— Ethan Norof (@Mr_Norof) December 21, 2014
"Who wants to scoop my mac and cheese?" -- @rolopez42 at the post game buffet table— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) December 21, 2014
It's often said that those who r excellent at what they do make things look easy. Prime example...what @aldridge_12 has been doing lately!— Brian Wheeler (@blazerwheels) December 21, 2014
The way @aldridge_12 started the game, he was telling his teammates there would b no need for any drama to get the job done! #clinical— Brian Wheeler (@blazerwheels) December 21, 2014
Aldridge on the back-to-back PF matchups 1st with Duncan & tonight with Davis: "I definitely was more locked in than normal" #Blazers— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) December 21, 2014
. @Dame_Lillard said Terry Stotts is going to give them Christmas off if they go at least 3-1 on this road trip. A master of motivation.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) December 21, 2014
Great win Rip City !— Nicolas Batum (@nicolas88batum) December 21, 2014
RipCity baby!!!!!— Will Barton (@WillTheThrillB5) December 21, 2014