The Portland Trail Blazers started strong, but one of the most frustrating scoring droughts in recent memory proved too much to endure as the Toronto Raptors just ran away with one 99-85 at the Moda Center Monday night.
DeMar DeRozan took over for the Raptors sans Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka, scoring 15 of his 25 points in the opening quarter, but the Blazers matched him well thanks to a hot shooting start that looked to bode well for the home team. Heading into the second period locked at 29, Portland appeared to be in store for another close and high-scoring punchout.
That did not happen.
All good would come to a screeching, boring halt during a disastrous quarter-plus-spanning stretch for the Blazers. Portland was outscored 25-6 and did not register a field goal until Evan Turner’s reverse layup with just 5.6 seconds left in the half, ending a near 14-minute grueling stretch without a bucket.
Damian Lillard’s four three throws were perhaps the only saving grace between embarrassment and historical futility. The Blazers’ six points amounted to the lowest scoring second quarter in franchise history.
Toronto was looking invincible and trotted into locker room with a commanding 54-35 lead.
Portland made a couple of runs in the second half but never got much within spitting distance, closing within 12 points in the final frame. If we’re grasping at straws, Lillard made strides at ending his early season shooting slump, scoring 25 points the rest of the way, but it wouldn’t stop the Blazers from getting blown out on their home court.
The Blazers will hope to get back on the right track on the road against the Utah Jazz Wednesday at 6 p.m.