For the second straight game, Portland Trail Blazer fans needed to avert their eyes. The Houston Rockets dominated them for three of four quarters, leading to a blowout victory. The suddenly-vulnerable Blazers still have four games to go on this trip around the eastern half of the United States.
The Blazers were led by CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard, Moe Harkless, and Evan Turner off the bench.
In a recurring theme, there was nothing positive to say about the first quarter. The Blazers’ offense had some highlights (seen below), but the defense betrayed them. James Harden and the Rockets lit them up for a scary 41 points.
Houston Rockets 41, Portland Trail Blazers 29
With Jake Layman’s arrival, the Blazers’ bench unit came alive to open the second quarter. They scored 13 points in the first three minutes to cut the deficit to 4. Houston fought back, trying to take the lead back to double-digits, but the Blazers finally increased their defensive presence. When Allen Crabbe tipped the ball from Harden to the hands of McCollum, CJ’s layup pulled the Blazers within 2. Finally, as the clock ran down, Lillard hit a layup to tie the game before halftime.
Portland Trail Blazers 62, Houston Rockets 62
Bonus video: CJ scores 19 points in 19 minutes!
CJ's First Half:— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) November 18, 2016
19 minutes pic.twitter.com/JxX7fTdHoE
After halftime, The “bad third quarter” Blazers returned, quickly falling behind by double-digits. But to add injury to insult, Allen Crabbe went down holding his knee. Here is footage:
He stayed on the sidelines with the trainers and a huge ice wrap on his knee. To everyone’s surprise, he returned to the game later in the third quarter, but the Blazers were behind by almost 20 points. He promptly swished a three-pointer. But it didn’t matter much.
Houston Rockets 100, Portland Trail Blazers 83
The fourth quarter wasn’t particularly relevant, as the Blazers never made a serious run. Therefore, no more video highlights. In their second straight lopsided defeat, the Blazers looked more deflated than the New England Patriots, and they headed to the locker room, looking for a better performance in The Big Easy.
No rest for the Blazers; they’re in New Orleans tomorrow night to play the Pelicans. But stay tuned, Dave Deckard will have further analysis of tonight’s game later.