Support Local Journalism!        

Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Damian Lillard hit the clutch shots, Mason Plumlee had perhaps his best all-around game of the season, Al-Farouq Aminu notched his fourth double-double and CJ McCollum contributed 18 points.

But more than anybody, Ed Davis was the reason why the Trail Blazers snapped a seven-game losing streak in a big way Friday night, knocking off the Los Angeles Clippers 102-91 at Moda Center.

Portland's 6-10 reserve power forward came through with season highs in points (17) and rebounds (15) and led the Blazers' assault on the boards with 10 off the offensive glass.

"Ed was a beast," said Lillard, who scored 11 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter. "He caught passes in traffic, he finished over guys, he offensive-rebounded, he protected the rim. A lot of the shots he didn't block, he changed them. He had a huge presence for us based off all hustle. He doesn't get a lot of credit, but he does it all the time."

Davis got plenty of attention after Friday's victory, meeting a large contingent of media by his locker room.

"I just wanted to come out with a lot of energy," said the sixth-year pro out of North Carolina, who came to Portland as a free agent this summer. "It's easy for me. We have guards who attack the rim. They attract a lot of attention (from defenders). My man usually goes to try to block the shot, and I get wide-open put-backs."

The Blazers (5-9) outrebounded the Clippers 55-42, with 17 of them coming at the offensive end.

"We got crushed on the glass," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "They just kept getting second shots. That really hurt us."

Leading the way was Davis, who also made 7 of 8 shots from the field and 3 of 4 at the line in his 31 minutes.

"Ed was big-time," said Plumlee, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds in just 29 minutes. "He controlled the game on the glass. All those extra possessions are huge. Making them guard you again, it can wear on you mentally."

"Ed was very active," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "He competed for every rebound, loose balls, finished around the basket. He was good with the smaller lineup because they gave him a lot of space. He had a terrific game.

"I've never been one to preach offensive rebounds, but it's great when we have them. It takes a lot of work to get them. They don't just fall in your lap. He worked for them. Those energy plays are contagious."

Stotts played Davis and Plumlee together for stretches in both halves, including the final 5:22 of the game. The Blazers outscored the Clippers 17-8 the rest of the way.

"We haven't gotten a lot of game action (playing together)," Davis said. "We played well tonight, and coach (Stotts) left us in there."

"I like their experience," Stotts said. "I like the matchups with (DeAndre) Jordan and (Blake) Griffin, especially with Meyers (Leonard) being out."

Griffin totaled 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Jordan collected 12 points and 15 rebounds, but Davis and Plumlee helped negate them.

Lillard, 6 for 19 from the field through three quarters, was 4 for 6 in the fourth quarter, including 3 for 5 from 3-point range in the game's final 3 1/2 minutes. He knocked down back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to give Portland a 93-87 lead, then made a third one for a 100-87 advantage, effectively burying the Clippers.

"Big shots," Plumlee said. "Those 3's were like daggers."

After the final 3, Lillard pointed to his wrist -- it was "Lillard Time."

"The ball felt great coming off my hands all night and it just wasn't falling," Lillard said. "When one finally went in, I was like 'OK, next one's going up.' When that one in, I was like in a zone. I'm just happy I was finally able to get a few down."

Said Stotts: "'Dame' has been very determined. The back-to-back 3s were the signature plays of the game, but he showed great leadership, great poise on a night he wasn't shooting the ball that well."

Lillard guarded Chris Paul most of the way, and the perennial All-Star managed only 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting to go with eight assists in 29 minutes.

"Coming into the season, I said I wanted to be better defensively, and I have been," Lillard said. "Every game, I've taken that challenge. If a guy comes out hot and hits on me, I take that responsibility. If I go out there and a guy doesn't have a great night, that's going to help me grow.

"I'm not looking for credit. It's something I want to be better at, and I know I have been better."

The Clippers (6-6) were playing the second of back-to-back games after falling 124-117 to Golden State Thursday night and have lost six of their last eight games. It was still a meaningful win for the Blazers, who had held leads in all of the games on their skid.

"It was good to close out a game," Stotts said. "We played solid for four quarters. We made a lot of winning plays you have to make in the fourth quarter. Good to break a streak and get back on track."

The players were glad to see results after having a chance to win in all of the four losses on their recent road trip.

"We played with purpose -- our cuts, our screens, the way we pushed the ball, the way we defended," Lillard said. "We had a different presence about us. We wanted it.

"It's a step in the right direction. We've struggled to finish games; it's resulted in a loss every time. Tonight we finally put it together and got a win."

The Blazers now head to Los Angeles to face the Lakers at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

"It's just one game," Plumlee said, "but the locker room was consistent in saying we improved on the road trip, and now we have something to show for it. We made improvement again tonight in the fourth quarter. We handled the late game well. That's something to build on."

NOTES: Davis, Plumlee and Al-Farouq Aminu (10 points, 12 rebounds) all had double-doubles for Portland. … Leonard (shoulder) missed his fifth straight game. … Lillard, who finished 10 for 25 from the field, has scored 20 points or more in 13 of the Blazers' 14 games. … McCollum has scored 15 points or more in all 14 games. … Lillard (25.2) McCollum (20.1) entered the game as the league's No. 3 scoring tandem behind Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and Golden State's Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. "Those two guys are having a hell of a year," Rivers said before the game. "Terry (Stotts, the Portland coach) is putting them in great positions to score. They're scoring and they're assisting. They're helping the whole team score. They're dangerous." … Blazer guard Gerald Henderson missed his first six shots and finished 1 for 9 from the field but had six rebounds in 26 minutes.

The Clippers held out 38-year-old small forward Paul Pierce, who had played 32 minutes against Golden State. For the purpose of rest? "I don't know -- can you put down 'old age' as a reason?" Rivers said. San Antonio's Gregg Popovich used it last year with Tim Duncan. … Stotts on Aminu, who is averaging 12.9 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting .406 from the field and .354 from 3-point range: "On the whole, he has been very good for us. He has been a better 3-point shooter than people expected. Defensively, he has been very solid. He has been able to play 3 and 4 and give us some versatility at both ends of the court. He is improving with his ball-handling. He has been put in situations he hasn't been before, and he has handled that well."

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: @kerryeggers

Go to top
JSN Time 2 is designed by | powered by JSN Sun Framework