Some things just don’t get old.
The formula might sound the same - video game-like performance from Damian Lillard, good Hassan Whiteside, inspired effort, threes - but nobody will complain about the result, as the Portland Trail Blazers yet again hopped on the back of Dame to smack down the Utah Jazz 124-107 in front of a rowdy Moda Center crowd.
Lillard added another chapter to his Fast and Furious-like streak of ridiculous play, in that no matter how many times he finds a way to deliver the same product, it’s bonkers enough that you can’t help but be thoroughly entertained. Dame torched the Jazz with a 51-point double-double along with 12 assists, which amazingly continues the the best scoring streak in franchise history. His nine threes made him the first player in NBA history to have six threes in six straight games (he has 49 in that stretch. 49!). He is the first player in NBA history to average 45+ points and 10+ assists over a six game span. Unbelievable. He checked out to a standing ovation and “MVP” chants.
Rudy Gobert might have been selected to his first All-Star Game earlier this week, but Whiteside (17 points, 21 rebounds, 3 blocks) got every bit the better of the matchup, outplaying the reigning Defensive Player of the Year at both ends and holding him without a field goal until late in the contest. Whiteside was terrific again working the pick-and-roll with Lillard and the Blazers kept going back to it.
Carmelo Anthony made his return to the lineup after not making the trip to L.A. He didn’t shoot well, but had physical matchup with Bojan Bogdanovic that was fun to watch.
Portland has now won four straight and improves to 23-27, 1.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the 8th seed.
The Blazers get a couple days off before heading to Denver to take on the Nuggets Tuesday.