Not quite the measuring stick fans were hoping for.
Portland seemed to match LA’s intensity in the early goings, and trailed by only three points at halftime, but the Clippers immediately turned it on at the start of the third quarter and made this one a laugher. The Blazers’ starters rode the bench for the final seven minutes of the game.
Doing most of the damage for LA was surprisingly not the reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who had about as a forgetful night as he’ll ever have with just 11 points on 3/15 shooting, but Montrezl Harrell, who bullied his way to 26 points and 10 rebounds, leading a formidable bench that outscored the Blazers’ 66-28.
CJ McCollum led the way for the Blazers with 20 points.
It’s a trap. The Blazers walked into a buzzsaw, facing a Clippers squad coming off one of their best offensive performances in franchise history, a 150-125 shellacking of the Washington Wizards on Sunday night. I guess Portland can hang its hat holding LA to a relatively modest 117 points, all things considered.
Melo cools off. After a hot start where he scored 9 points in the first quarter, Carmelo Anthony struggled with his shot the rest of the way and finished with just that on 2-9 shooting to go along with 6 rebounds. He took a strong looking (but clean) foul from Montrezl Harrell in the first half, landing hard on his back. Hard to say if it had much of an effect on his play, but he’ll feel it tomorrow. A lot of his shots were forced, but playing mostly from behind, it was that kind of game.
The Blazers will return home to begin a four-game homestand against the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night.