Portland stayed close to Indiana Thursday night, but the Pacers kept the Blazers at bay, eventually winning an utterly forgettable game, 106-100. But let’s cover a few basics anyway.
- A close first half. With Sabonis glued to the bench in foul trouble, and Oladipo just taking up space, the Blazers’ bench came alive in the first half. Caleb Swanigan and Anfernee Simons helped Portland take a halftime lead.
- The second half was... less fun. Sabonis was back in the game, and Indiana actually seemed like they started trying to win. They picked up their defensive intensity, and countered Portland’s energy with some strong team play. Portland was slowly out-talented as the game wore on.
- Indiana did just enough to win. They didn’t bring their “A Game” today, but with Portland’s roster decimated, they picked their moments, and got noticeably lazy in between. With a 14 point lead in the fourth, they let the Blazers come back late with some lethargic possessions and long bricked three’s... only to actually play one hard possession to get a wide-open three to seal the win.
Portland gets a night off, and is back in action Saturday afternoon (PST) in Atlanta.