Blazers gut out a road win against the depleted Magic

by Kevin Nesgoda

In the second game of a back to back, the Blazers welcome the newly acquired Norman Powell and welcome Jusuf Nurkić back from injury. The Bosnian Beast will be on a minutes restriction of about 20 minutes and Dame will sit this one out with a “left knee contusion”.

The Orlando Magic are a depleted team that will only have 8 players after trading away Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vučević, Al-Farouq Aminu and Evan Fournier to the Nuggets, Bulls and Celtics, respectively.

Unlike the Blazers who will have their new player suit up tonight because he was playing in nearby Tampa Bay, the Magic will be without their new additions: Wendell Carter, Jr., Otto Porter, Jr. (injured), Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and the draft picks that will come with them.

For some reason both teams have decided to wear jerseys with orange accents despite the logos for each team having nothing to do with orange. Here we go.

First Quarter:

Hello, Norman Powell. He gets his first points for the Blazers with a nifty crossover into a 16 pull up jumper. Then hits his next shot for a nice start for the former UCLA Bruin.

The Bosnian Beast is back and gets his first bucket with a putback on an offensive rebound. Then promptly gets a Delay of Game warning called on him for touching the ball after it went through the basket. C’mon, Nurk.

The Magic jump out to an early lead as the Blazers continue their recent policy of not playing any defense in the first quarter.

Mo Bamba gets fouled on a questionable call. He misses the first as Carmelo yells “That ball don’t lie.”

Bamba is so shook that he misses the second free throw, too. Shout out to Rasheed.

Anfernee Simons comes in and promptly hits a 3 and gets fouled. He misses the free throw but the Blazers get the team rebound which leads to a missed 3 from Nassir Little.

35 – 32 Blazers.

CJ McCollum leads the team with 11, Norman Powell has 8 on 3-5 fg and is fitting in nicely.

Chuma Okeke leads the Magic with 10 points.

Second Quarter:

Another Ant 3. He’s hit his first two shots in his homecoming game. The Blazers are 7-15 from 3 to start the game and are scorching the nets.

Orlando is also shooting well at 4-9 from 3, but just aren’t taking as many 3s as the Blazers.

Nurk is still rounding himself back into shape as he has back to back turnovers.

Simons hits another 3 with the toddler’s favorite, Toilet Bowl shot!

Enes Kanter is just bullying Mo Bamba like the rap song is named after him. He dribbles right into him and then lays it in like he’s not even there.

Ant hits another 3 for 4 in the first half. He is cooking.

65-55 Portland.

Blazers are 11-22 from 3pt and 22-44 from the field for .637 true shooting percentage.

Orlando slowed down a bit in the 2nd quarter and is 7-17 from 3pt and 20-48 from the field. .512 true shooting percentage for the Magic in the first half.

Third Quarter:

Nurk starts the scoring for the Blazers in the second half with a balletic move and proceeds to get another delay of game call on him for a technical. Luckily, the Magic miss the free throw. C’mon big man.

Norman Powell has been cooking. Great ball movement leads to a wide open corner 3.

Nurk wants to get in on the action and hits a 3 from the lane line extended. According to the Blazers’ twitter, he’s been working on these . . .

This young Magic team is not going away easily. After Nurk’s 3, they go on an 11-0 run to tie the score at 73-73 with 4 minus to go in the quarter.

Norman Powell steps up and hits another corner 3 to put an end to their run. He has integrated himself seamlessly. It looks like he’s been playing with these guys for years and not playing his first game with the team.

CJ beats the buzzer with a 16 foot floater to end the 3rd.

80-77 Blazers.

Bad shooting and sloppy play in the 3rd allowed the Magic to get back into the game.

Portland shot 2-11 from 3pt and 5-16 from the field in the quarter. Yuck.

Orlando was 2-4 from 3pt and 10-25 from the field and outscored the Trailblazers 22-15 in the 3rd.

Fourth Quarter:

Blazers are struggling to start and CJ has had a rough shooting night tonight.

Multiple turnovers in a row and a tough no call on what looked like a foul from behind after McCollum made a beautiful back cut.

James Ennis hits a 3 with 6:30 remaining to tie the score at 94-94.

Who will step up for the Blazers down the stretch with Dame out tonight?

That person will be CJ McCollum as he promptly hits a 3. Kanter bullies the Magic bigs for a nice layup and then CJ gets a steal, missed a transition 3, but Robert Covington flies in for the tip dunk.

Quick little 7-0 run to stretch the lead to 101-94.

A clutch 3 by RoCo with 3 minutes to go may seal this thing. He has been everywhere tonight.

An Enes Kanter offensive rebound and outback brings the lead back to 7 with 1:25 remaining and that will probably do it.

CJ goes one on one and shows the entire bag of tricks to get a 5 foot floater and seal the deal.

Robert Covington hits 2 free throws to finish a great all around game for him and put the finishing touches on a gutty road win for the Blazers 112-105.

Covington would be my player of the game as he did everything tonight: 15 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks. 4-6 from the field, 3-5 from the 3pt and 4-4 from the FT line.

He did it all.

Norman Powell set the Blazers’ franchise record for points in a debut game with 22.

CJ had 22 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds despite an off shooting night.

Kanter is still putting up numbers even if its off the bench tonight with 15 points and 15 rebounds on 7-10 fg.

Chuma Okeke led the Magic with 22 points. Khem Birch had 14 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks.

Up Next:

Norman Powell gets to play against his old team on Sunday when the Blazers head to Tampa Bay to play the Toronto Raptors and we’ll get to see Gary Trent Jr and Rodney Hood suiting up against the Blazers.

It’s an early one at 4pm PST, we’ll see you then.

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