One game after an embarrassing loss to the New York Knicks, the Blazers played... well enough, beating a Wizards team missing a bunch of players (including Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans) from their already-mediocre core, 122-103. Isaiah Thomas was ejected in the opening minutes for making contact with an official, and the Wiz spent the second half climbing out of holes, until finally Portland dug one too deep in the fourth quarter. In the process, Portland broke a four-game losing streak.
- You didn’t miss much. If you enjoyed a Blazers-free pseudo-holiday Friday night, you shouldn’t feel any regrets. Despite the final score, the Wiz kept it within reach until Portland finally finished them with a late push.
- They looked good, but their opponent stunk. Fresh off an upset of Miami, the Wizards looked decidedly not hungry as the game wore on, looking like they going through the motions at times after falling behind in the second half. In the process, the Blazers looked pretty good. If you remember how good Portland looked in November against the dreadful Bulls, this was similar.
- Good stats galore, except one. Four starters scored in double figures. Whiteside had a 20+ double-double. Portland won by almost 20, even though they couldn’t hit their three-pointers (6 of 25). It didn’t matter.
- Garbage time point-differential padding. Washington looked defeated as the fourth quarter wore on, featuring a bunch of players you probably didn’t know (or forgot) were in the league. The Blazers starters finally opened up a decent lead late to create a tidy margin of victory.
Suffice to say, this isn’t the most upbeat I’ve felt after a double-digit Blazers win. But they desperately needed a win, and they got it.
The Blazers now fly to Miami for a 3:00 pm PT game against the Heat, and get another chance to prove they can beat a good team.