The Portland Trail Blazers ended their three-game road trip with a loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. This brings their season record to 19-20 (.487), and represents their first dip below .500 this year. They now sit at No. 10 in the Western Conference standings.
Turnovers were the biggest problem in the game, according to head coach Chauncey Billups.
On the Toronto game
I think I put it in our simplest form for us to win this game. We was going to have to take care of the ball and take good shots, and we get – again – 22 turnovers, 24 turnovers for 29 points. They’re the best in the league at it, though, so you got to think we’re going to have some, you know, but 29 points is just too much. I had to play the starters a lot, put the bench in in the second quarter and they just struggle. They just struggle, so we had to kind of go back. And then I felt like we made a decent little run at the end of the third, so boom, went back with the starters to start the fourth. See, really, this is our chance, you know, and we gave ourselves a chance. We really did. We gave ourselves a chance. Gave up offensive rebound there, I think we were down five at the time, but a lot would have had to go well for us to pull that one out, getting down like that.
On the road trip as a whole
Obviously, disappointed you don’t win a game, you know, you don’t win a game. I thought, for the most part, all three games were winnable. Even with how we played. Had the big struggles in Game 1 and Game 2 at the end, and then today, you know, those turnovers hurt us, man, just hurt us. It continues to be our Achilles heel. So, just got to keep working at it.
The Trail Blazers turned the ball over 56 times over the course of the road trip. That’s 18.7 turnovers per game. For some frame of reference, the Houston Rockets lead the league in turnovers per game at 17.0. Portland desperately needs to clean up its play.
Next up: The team has an opportunity to bounce back at home against the Orlando Magic (15-25). Tipoff is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m.