Damian Lillard had 36 points, Meyers Leonard had 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, but the Portland Trail Blazers suffered a miserable second quarter and fell to the Brooklyn Nets, 106-96 Monday night at the Barclays Center.
Despite playing with just ten players, Portland started the game hot. CJ McCollum made the most of his first career start, scoring six on 3-of-3 shooting early on, and Lillard added nine to give Portland an eight point advantage. Problems arose for the Blazers when Joel Freeland came off the bench and picked up three fouls in two minutes, limiting the Portland depth at the forward and center positions. With Freeland in foul trouble and Robin Lopez resting, Brook Lopez scored six quick points and Brooklyn closed the gap to three after one.
The second quarter was the stuff of nightmares. Portland shot just 4-of-18 in the period for only 13 points. McCollum had more than half of those with seven, but the Blazers allowed Brooklyn to go on a 19-3 run and seize a 16 point advantage. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 11 by himself for the Nets, Deron Williams had 10, and the home squad led by 16 at the break.
After the Nets advanced their lead to 22 in the third quarter, Lillard decided enough was enough. He drained four straight three point shots as Portland got as close as 12. However, Leonard found himself in foul trouble along with Freeland, and Nets used that to get points back through Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez. Lillard scored 14 in the period after scoring 11 in the first half, but Portland trailed by 13 after three.
Forget "Lillard Time", the first half of the fourth quarter was sent into "Leonard Time". Meyers Leonard scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter for Portland as they closed to within eight. A jump hook by Leonard got Portland within six, but the Nets re-extended their lead to end the threat. Leonard scored 15 in the final period.
McCollum had 15 points and 6 rebounds. In a matchup against his twin brother, Robin Lopez had 8 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Brook Lopez had 32 points and 9 rebounds. The Blazers bench shot 3-of-14.
Robin Lopez on Brook Lopez's performance after calling him a "crappy center" pregame: "Yeah, he was good."— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) April 7, 2015