What a night. After a chippy loss to Golden State 24 hours earlier, the Portland Trail Blazers demolished the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday night. With both Joel Embiid and Moe Harkless sidelined, the 76ers had no answers to the Blazers’ white-hot shooting. Portland’s deep bench enjoyed an entire quarter of play where the lead reached 40.
Here are a few essentials from tonight’s game.
- Boom. The Blazers brought the thunder from the opening quarter, dominating at both ends while the 76ers looked stuck in quicksand. The Sixers went scoreless for long stretches while Portland exposed and dominated mismatches. Amazingly, Lillard only scored 5 points in the first half, but Portland was already in blowout mode.
- Is Embiid that important? With Joel sidelined with an injury, Philadelphia had no answers on defense. Jusuf Nurkic feasted on the remaining defenders, and even Turner scored at will in the post, as the Sixers looked on haplessly.
- Good bench night! The Blazers’ bench rotation was smaller without Harkless in the starting lineup, but they inspired a huge first-half run for Portland, and helped put away a rare game where Lillard was only needed for third-quarter inspiration.
- Hello CJ! McCollum found his shooting touch early, scoring 35 points on just 18 shots. After a long slump, he surely told his hand how much he missed it. In fact, all the starters probably said really nice things to their hands, after shooting 68.6% overall, one of the best marks in team history.
A day off for the Blazers, and a trip to Sacramento for their first look at the new-and-improved Kings.