Blazers demolish Cavs to cap undefeated home stand, 129-110

by Kevin Nesgoda

After a thrilling victory over the Philadelphia 76ers last night, the Portland Trail Blazers hosted another Eastern Conference team, albeit near the other end of the standings: the 10-16 Cleveland Cavaliers, who are on a five-game losing skid.

Lineups

Portland: Damian Lillard, Gary Trent Jr., Derrick Jones Jr., Robert Covington, Jusuf Nurkic

Cleveland: Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro, Taurean Prince, Andre Drummond


Photo via Trail Blazers (used with permission)

Photo via Trail Blazers (used with permission)

Game Recap

First Quarter

The quickness of Dame, Gary, and Enes notched a 22-4 lead early on, getting to the rim either around or behind slower Cleveland defenders. The Cavs committed four fouls in the first three and a half minutes.

Just a few minutes in, it was clear the Blazers were the better all-around team in this game. Prince’s hack of Kanter gave the Blazers their 11th and 12th free throws of the night, just before former Oregon Duck Damyean Dotson came off the bench and stopped the bleeding with a fadeaway jumper.

In true Blazers fashion, the lead shrunk to 11 with two minutes left in the first. Some (unnecessarily) rushed offensive possessions and Dotson’s energy cut the lead below 10 before Carmelo Anthony splashed a corner three.

Second Quarter

The Cavs switched into a surprisingly-effective zone defense, but Melo was able to get on an island and score three straight jumpers.

Garland hit the Cavs’ first three midway through the second, but Drummond quickly notched his third foul on the other end. He stayed in the game and avoided conceding another before the half.

Anfernee Simons’ second three put the Blazers up 20 with an 8-0 run. Things were still looking rosy in a snow-filled Rose City.

The Blazers reached 70 with just over a minute left in the half off a Gary Trent triple. They surpassed it with Melo’s buzzer-beating triple, leading by 21 at the half.

Third Quarter

Dame and Gary fired off to start the second half, boosting the Blazers’ lead to 24 halfway through the quarter.

Portland passed the 100-point mark when Kanter grabbed his second consecutive putback from a terrible three-point attempt.

Fourth Quarter

With the game in hand and the bench getting minutes, the Blazers kept their heads and their lead. Portland hampered Jarrett Allen’s shooting percentage, which was tops in the league—67%—coming in. He finished 7/13 with __.

Nassir Little was back in action after missing a few games with a knee injury.

Even CJ Elleby was getting in on the act, getting eight minutes of time and hitting a three.

Final Thoughts

Another solid win and a balanced attack, this time against an inferior opponent. It’s been a great three-game home stand for the Blazers, who now find themselves firmly in a playoff position in the West. If they can get four out of these next seven road games, they’re in really good shape for the return of (all-star caliber) CJ McCollum to the fold.

Player(s) of the Game

Gary Trent Jr. was the team’s leading scorer tonight with 26 on 8/12 shooting, including 4/6 from behind the arc. He was part of a balanced Blazers attack, and he’s playing himself into a big contract this offseason while replacing CJ.

Next Up

The Blazers begin a seven-game road stretch over the next two weeks against the red-hot Mavericks on Sunday at 4:30pm.

You may also like