The Portland Trail Blazers swept home a 131-127 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in an exhilarating shoot-out that handed Portland their first win on the road since November 20th.
Lillard’s career-high 39 points and 6-for-7 three’s led the Blazers to a win as well as a third place in the league for highest average points in any quarter. The team’s win was also attributed by the starting line-up’s combined +/- of 88. C.J. McCollum with 27 points, Centre Jusuf Nurkić’s 20 points and team-high seven assist paved the way to their victory.
Lillard hit five of his six 3-pointers in the third when the Blazers outscored the Clippers 42-28. Portland was 10 of 20 from 3-point range in the game.
Tobias Harris posted 39 points and 11 rebounds while rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander contributed a season-high 24 points.
Marcin Gortat started the game for the Clippers but the better of two seven-feet-tall centers proved to be in Nurkic’s favor as Gortat was unable to match up against the younger and faster Nurkic.
Even with Boban Marjanović as an alternative, his five-minute limit on the court proved to be insignificant in turning over Clippers’ performance. His presence was lost in the game and he was unable to be a threat against the Blazers. In fact, the Clippers center woes forced coach Doc Rivers to rotate Montrezl Harrell into the five position, setting up a small-ball lineup.
“We’ve got to start with the defensive end and picking up our physicality,” Harris said. “We’ve got to be a little more locked in.”
The Clippers will have to rework their center position if they want to break out of their consecutive four-game losing streak and regain their momentum heading into the all-star break.Leave a comment