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Blazers Bogged Down In Bayou During Loss To Pelicans

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in a dreadful, dreadful display of basketball, the tired and Damian Lillard-less Portland Trail Blazers put up a fight for 18 minutes, then rolled up into a ball and played dead for the rest of the night, losing 115-89.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Minus Damian Lillard for the second straight game, the Portland Trail Blazers were no contest for the Pelicans in New Orleans Wednesday evening, completing a winless five-game road trip in a 115-89 loss. This is somewhat historically significant, as the Blazers had not finished a road trip 0-5 in over 40 years: In February 1974, Portland lost to the Suns, Knicks, Bulls, Rockets and the Capital Bullets to complete an 0-5 road trip, mere weeks after previously completing an 0-6 road trip. None of the current Blazer players were alive yet, not even Chris Kaman.

The Blazers spread the minimal scoring across the entire team tonight. There were no true "team leaders", just a bunch of players who were likely ready to board a plane to head home for a few days off.

Recap

With McCollum back in the starting lineup, the Blazers kept things even with New Orleans through the first quarter. Gerald Henderson ably filled in with 6 early points on 3-4 shooting. Anthony Davis showed up for the Pelicans, but the rest of the team continued to struggle around him. Neither team gained an advantage through the first, and New Orleans held a 2 point lead. In the second quarter, led by Tim Frazier, the Blazers bench only scored 2 points in the first three minutes, forcing a Terry Stotts timeout. The struggles continued as the Blazers missed shot after shot. New Orleans barely took advantage, having trouble pushing the lead past 5 points. But as the half wound down, the Blazers fell apart. Al-Farouq Aminu picked up a meaningless technical foul, the Blazers looked like they were standing in quicksand at both ends, and the Pelicans suddenly took a 15 point lead. Portland was eventually outscored 27-13 in the second quarter, and were looking at a steep deficit for their last 24 minutes of a very long road trip.

Halftime score: New Orleans 53, Portland 36

In an ominous sign, the Blazers opened the second half with a 24 second violation. Within two minutes, the New Orleans lead reached 21. Soon after, 24. New Orleans looked like they'd run away with the game, but the Blazers made the NBA-required second-half run, as Meyers Leonard swished back-to-back three-pointers to pull Portland within 16 late in the third quarter. The deficit was 15 as the buzzer sounded. But New Orleans shrugged and scored 7 points in the first minute or so of the fourth quarter. Order was restored, and soon New Orleans' lead was back over 20. The Blazers did what they could with the players available, but in the end they headed home for some R&R and the hope that a player named Damian can help them find direction again.

Final: New Orleans 115, Portland 89

Box Score

What's Next

The Blazers head home for a Christmas break, enjoying a few nights in their beds. They're back in action Saturday night, against the Cavs, who will be fresh off the previous day's Finals rematch against the Warriors. Lillard reportedly hopes to be back from his plantar fascia injury to play that night if possible.

In the meantime, stay tuned to Blazer's Edge later tonight, for a unique recap of today's game featuring Dave and the crew.