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Blazers Run Out Of Gas In Cleveland, Fall 127-110

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Damian Lillard and the Blazers kept it close, but the Cavs’ championship pedigree and fresh legs eventually prevailed.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers put up a good fight but were ultimately outmatched by a motivated and now complete Cleveland Cavaliers squad Tuesday, falling 127-110 on the road at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs, which had dropped three in a row coming into tonight’s contest, received big boost from the much anticipated debut of Isaiah Thomas, who, until now, has spent his entire tenure with the club recovering from a hip injury sustained as a member of the Boston Celtics last season.

Thomas didn’t blow the lid off of anything statistically (17 points, 3 assists) but his return clearly provided an emotional edge for Cleveland, which allowed Portland to hang close for two and a half quarters before flipping a switch and dominating the final frame to walk away with an easy victory.

  • Welcome back, Dame. Win or no, the story of the night for Portland fans is certainly the return of Damian Lillard, who looked sharp in his first action since a hamstring strain sidelined him back on Dec. 20. Lillard started off a bit slow but he eventually got it rolling, especially from the outside where he connected on six threes. He finished with 25 points, but perhaps more importantly showed no signs of discomfort, which is often a worry with that type of nagging injury.
  • Efficient Nurk? The roller-coaster ride that is Jusuf Nurkic turned in a surprisingly ultra-efficient performance, scoring 23 points on 10-12 shooting, while also adding seven boards, four assists and two steals. Granted, the Cavs barely have anybody who qualifies as a legitimate center on its roster, but to his credit, Nurk looked strong finishing around the basket, which has been a bugaboo of his this season.

Box Score

Highlights:

What’s Next

With tonight's loss the Blazers wrapped up a short three-game road trip and will return home to the Moda Center Friday to host an anxious rematch with the Atlanta Hawks - Evening tip is set for 7 p.m.

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