The Portland Trail Blazers dropped to 0-4 on their current road trip Sunday afternoon, falling 129-98 to the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis. The Blazers started the game just 1-13 from the field and could never recover, as the Pacers never trailed in the contest—leading by double-digits for the entire second half. Josh Hart led all scorers with 26 points for Portland, while Oshae Brissett paced Indiana with 24 of his own. Jalen Smith and Terry Taylor each had 17 off the Pacers bench.
Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at today’s action.
Portland sputtered out of the gate, as the Pacers raced out to an early 16-4 advantage by the midway point. The Blazers started the game just 1-13 from the field, missing their first six three-point attempts in the process. While they eventually developed a bit of an offensive rhythm around Hart, Indiana stayed hot—shooting 55% from the field in the frame. Nine different Pacers scored, as they led 35-22 at the horn.
The Pacers lead ballooned to 20 midway through the second, as their red-hot shooting continued from both inside and outside the arc. Meanwhile, sloppy play plagued the Blazer offense, while Hart did his best to keep the team afloat. A 7-0 Portland run trimmed the deficit to 14 with 3:25 remaining, before the Pacers closed on a 15-8 run of their own to take a 69-48 lead into the halftime break.
Indiana shot 54% for the half, led by the 19 points of Brissett. Portland rebounded from their dismal shooting start to finish at a somewhat respectable 40% clip from the field, with Hart leading the way with 12 points.
The Blazers slowly chipped away at the lead, with Trendon Watford getting going offensively by attacking the rim. However, turnovers continued to plague their chances to get back in the game. Having trimmed the margin to 16 at the six-minute mark, Buddy Hield—who started the game 0-7 from the field—finally connected on an open three. He then stole the ensuing inbounds pass, and immediately drilled another corner triple to net a 6-0 run in nine seconds of play.
While it seemed like the sequence would serve as the proverbial knockout punch, the Blazers battled back, responding with a 18-6 run to close the frame. Kris Dunn provided a defensive spark off the bench, and Hart remained in the middle of the action, as Portland trailed just 94-82 entering the home stretch.
Portland’s success didn’t carry over to the final frame, as Indiana dominated the paint to begin the fourth quarter. The rout was on from there, as the Pacers kept their foot on the gas to cruise to the finish line, holding the Blazers to 16 points in the period.
The Blazers wrap up their road trip tomorrow night against the Detroit Pistons. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. PT at Little Caesars Arena.
Stay tuned for an extended look at today’s game from Conor Bergin.