Tuesday, Feb. 9: Trail Blazers 106, Magic 97
The skinny: The first game after a long road trip can often be a tough one, but the Trail Blazers had more than three days of rest, hours-wise, before taking on Orlando on Tuesday at Moda Center.
And, it showed. The Blazers beat the Magic 106-97, as Damian Lillard scored 36 points and Carmelo Anthony added a season-high 23.
Other than Nassir Little, and CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers had a full lineup. Lillard, who's listed on the injury list with a left hip contusion, played and played well. He hit 9 of 22 from the field, including five 3-pointers, and all 13 free-throw attempts.
Anthony also hit five 3-pointers and moved into 12th on the NBA all-time scoring list, surpassing Oscar Robertson.
The Blazers (13-10), who went 3-3 on the recent road trip, concluding with a loss last Saturday afternoon at New York Knicks, led by double digits in the first quarter and Orlando (9-16) never really challenged them.
Then again, you think Portland has injury issues? Orlando entered the game without Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Fournier, Markelle Fultz, Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac. Then Cole Anthony (right shoulder strain) and Al-Farouq Aminu (right knee), the former Blazer, left the game.
The Blazers played good defense, holding the Magic to .420 shooting (11 of 35 3-pointers, .314). Although they scored in single digits, Robert Covington had 11 rebounds and Derrick Jones Jr. and Enes Kanter 10 rebounds each.
Gary Trent Jr. had a hot first half with 3-pointers and added 15 points. The Blazers hit 18 3-pointers and 18 of 19 free throws; they outscored Orlando by 27 points in the two categories.
Nikola Vucevic had 27 points and 15 rebounds for Orlando. Terrence Ross, the NBA vet who played part of his prep years at Portland's Jefferson High, added 22 points.
Next up: The Blazers beat NBA Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia on its home court last week, and the 76ers get their shot at Portland at the Moda Center, 7 p.m. Thursday. The Sixers beat Sacramento on Tuesday to move to 18-7.
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