Things seemed to be going so well for the Portland Trail Blazers. Even without Damian Lillard, they found a way to lead the Philadelphia 76ers by 1 at halftime in the Moda Center. Then it all fell apart. Philly tore off a 27-8 run in the third quarter, interrupted by an ugly collision that sent Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic to the locker room. Portland responded with a crazy 19-0 run of their own. Joel Embiid and the Sixers slowly melted down, and the Blazers finally won a game at home, 114-110. CJ McCollum, Shabazz Napier, and Nurkic led the way for Portland. Here are some essentials from tonight’s big win.
- A dose of Shabazzle-dazzle. Shabazz Napier, starting in place of the injured Lillard, took over in the fourth to complete the Blazers’ second half comeback.
- Shades of 1977. A contentious battle led to multiple incidents, and lots of trash talking. Beyond the collision that temporarily knocked out Nurkic, Joel Embiid picked up a flagrant foul, causing two Blazers to bounce off him like a pinball.
- What a collapse. The Sixers were in complete control of the game with a third-quarter 18 point lead. But in a sign of a young team, they let their foot off the pedal, then complained at everyone when things didn’t go their way. Meanwhile, the Blazers simply took care of business like a veteran squad.
Shabazz picks it off and goes the other way for the easy lay-in!— NBA (@NBA) December 29, 2017
The @trailblazers have taken over and now lead the @sixers 97-90 with 5:08 to play in the 4th on @NBAonTNT.#Ripcity pic.twitter.com/EZLFSsGA5o
The Blazers head to the airport, flying cross-country for a Saturday night game in Atlanta. But stay tuned tonight, we’ll have more coverage of today’s game.