The Portland Trail Blazers turned in one of its worst performances of the year Tuesday, falling behind early and then getting buried by the New Orleans Pelicans 100-77 on the road.
Only two Blazers scored in double-digits - Damian Lillard (29 points) and Shabazz Napier (10 points) - and Portland finished shooting a disastrous 30% from the field.
Not many highlights abound, but Brooke Olzendam got scared by the Pelicans’ creepy mascot, “Pierre,” during pregame:
PRO TIP: NEVER TRUST A MASCOT... unless it's Blaze, that cat is alright. Right @brookeolzendam? #RipCity pic.twitter.com/uEq9Jmxr9Q— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) March 15, 2017
There wasn’t much for the Blazers to celebrate during a first half filled with bricks, fouls and mistakes. New Orleans largely outplayed Portland on both sides of the ball and probably should have led by more at the break, if not for its own slow start.
The Blazers shot only 33% from the floor, turned the ball over nine times and sent the Pelicans to the foul line 12 times, struggling on offense as much the team has looked at any point this year. C.J. McCollum and Allen Crabbe combined to shoot only 4-16, and Jusuf Nurkic was mostly neutralized by the similarly burly DeMarcus Cousins, leaving Damian Lillard to shoulder most of the scoring load. Lillard performed adequately, scoring an efficient 13 points on eight shots, but needed help.
Meanwhile, Cousins proceeded to clown just about whoever Terry Stotts would throw at him defensively. Nurkic and Meyers Leonard each took their turn receiving the brunt of whatever frustrations seem to continue plaguing the enigmatic big man and Cousins delivered with 14 points. He could have had more too, but only managed to make 2-8 free throws.
HIGHLIGHT: Lillard shakes 'em, bakes 'em, goes high off the glass. #RipCity pic.twitter.com/mOsHHT4ZLG— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) March 15, 2017
HIGHLIGHT: McCollum beats the buzzer to end the half. #RipCity pic.twitter.com/eJdBaBIgLD— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) March 15, 2017
Portland Trail Blazers 36, New Orleans Pelicans 50
Lillard tried his darnedest to will Portland back into the game to start the second half but New Orleans only pulled further way. Dame scored the first 11 points of the third quarter for the Blazers, but nobody else could get anything going. The starters didn’t last long and garbage time lasted the whole final frame.
Maybe? pic.twitter.com/BTdjoc8Np0— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) March 15, 2017
The Blazers will head to San Antonio for the second half of a back-to-back with the LaMarcus Aldridge-less Spurs at AT&T Center - Another early tip at 5 p.m.
-- Ryan Rosback | email@example.com | Twitter