Both the Blazers and Raptors came into Sunday’s contest having played five straight on the road. But on the court, you’d never know it: Portland raced around the moribund Raptors for three quarters, with their lead reaching 30 points. The Blazers held on late for the 114-105 victory to complete a 4-2 road trip despite missing multiple starters.
Head Over Feet. The Raptors seemingly tripped over themselves coming out of the locker room before tip-off, as the Blazers quickly raced to a crazy-easy 20-point lead. Toronto hit one field goal in the first seven minutes, and watched the Blazers dance around them for easy points. The Raptors looked simultaneously confused, frustrated, and disinterested, until they made a late run to make the score respectable.
Uninvited. Anfernee Simons had a quiet night, but crashed Toronto’s comeback party by hitting two clutch three-pointers in the final minutes when the Raptors had pulled to within four points.
You Live, You Learn. The Blazers’ bench youngsters had fresher legs and it showed, as the each shot over .500 for the night. Toronto just didn’t get any relief against the Blazers’ backups.
Ironic. Somewhat lost in Portland’s recent stretch is the elephant in the room: Since Damian Lillard was officially sidelined for surgery, the Blazers look noticeably more energetic, upbeat, and engaged at both ends. And it’s reflected in their results. Granted, it happened against fairly soft competition, but that hadn’t stopped the team from looking disengaged previously.
The Blazers finally head home for a few games after a positive road trip. First up: The Wolves on Tuesday night.