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Blazers’ Covington on his Defense-First Role, “ I was Brought Here to be a Disrupter”

Following a third quarter where the Trail Blazers only surrendered 10 points to the Raptors, veteran forward Robert Covington sounded off on his defense-first mentality.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Toronto Raptors Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The Trail Blazers rallied around a strong defensive performance in the third quarter of Sunday’s contest to secure a 122-117 victory over the Raptors. After surrendering 70-plus points in the first half, Portland’s defense held Toronto just four field goals and 10 points in the third frame.

Robert Covington was at the heart of that defensive turnaround. Against the Raptors, he recorded 12 rebounds, three steals and four blocks. After the game, NBC Sports Northwest’s Jamie Hudson checked in with the former Rockets forward.

“Just doing what I do best. I was brought here to be a disrupter and just my anticipation and reading plays and seeing how players are reacting, so I just kind of use my instincts in that.”

Along with Covington, Derrick Jones Jr. put his length and athleticism to good use on the defensive end. Jones, who was featured off the bench, secured two steals and a block. That combined effort from the forward spots garnered attention from Damian Lillard following Sunday’s win.

“When those guys are sharp and impacting the game the way that they did tonight, I think we showed what we’re capable of as a group. We need them to be that version of themselves if we’re going to continue to work towards turning things around defensively.”

Covington and the Blazers return to action on Wednesday with a matchup against the Pistons. You can read Hudson’s full story at NBC Sports Northwest.