Enes Kanter snagged a Trail Blazers franchise-record 30 rebounds—12 of them from the offensive glass—to go with 24 points as the Blazers cruised to a series sweep over the Detroit Pistons.
Damian Lillard reminded us all why he’s currently second in the NBA’s Kia MVP Ladder, splashing a pair of early threes. He would finish with 27 points and 10 assists.
Derrick Jones Jr. shook Detroit’s backboard with a vicious block at the end of the first quarter. Terry Stotts surprised some when he benched Jones—one of Portland’s best on-ball defenders—in favor of a shooting boost in Norman Powell.
Portland went on a 9-0 run to close the first quarter and led 33-23. Lillard and Saddiq Bey both had 12; but Enes Kanter’s seven points, 10 boards (five offensive, five defensive), two assists, a steal, and a block stole the show.
Kanter started in place of a resting Jusuf Nurkic, and this season’s usual starting center introduced himself early on with an aggressive slam.
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) April 11, 2021
Kanter would finish the first half with 11 and 16. By the end of the game he had notched a Blazers-record 30 rebounds alongside 24 points.
The Blazers ended the second quarter with a flurry as well, rebuilding what was once a 16-point lead into nine before the break. Portland’s surge was fueled by some missed calls against Kanter and Lillard, who turned their frustration into tough finishes at the rim.
That lead grew to 15 in the first few minutes of the third as CJ’s point total grew to 17. He would finish with 26. Portland would cruise in the fourth and earn a much-needed comfortable victory.
Portland host a Victor Oladipo-less Miami tomorrow at 7pm on the second night of a back-to-back. The Blazers defeated the Heat 125-122 on March 25th as part of a four-game road winning streak.