The Portland Trail Blazers got off to a hot start against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, outscoring their opponent 65-48 in the first half. But that double-digit lead turned into a double-digit deficit as Portland lost control of the game after intermission, ultimately losing 105-123.
Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups made no excuses when talking to reporters after the game.
We knew that they were going to make runs throughout the game, you know. We had a great start, a great first half. I talked to them at halftime, you know, I said ‘They’re going to make a run. This is what they do. Third quarters is what they do. Don’t react to it, but everybody just stay calm. Stay poised.’ And we didn’t do a good job of that. I thought we lost trust in passing the ball. We passed it really well in the first half, even when they went to their Box and 1 we still stayed spaced and we got the ball to the middle and we just passed it around. Guys hit shots, guys made shots and was aggressive, and we just didn’t do that in the second half, particularly the third quarter. I don’t think we shot good shots and we lost trust in the pass, and that hurt us, man.
The Trail Blazers were outscored by 22 points in that third quarter, giving up the entirety of the lead they had built and then some. But this is the difference between a young squad and a team of veterans: poise when leading; poise when trailing. Portland lacked both against a more experienced Golden State team.
The Trail Blazers now occupy the No. 11 spot in the Western Conference standings, just half a game behind the New Orleans Pelicans, who they face tonight at 7:00 p.m. (PST).