Tuesday, April 6: Clippers 133, Trail Blazers 116
The skinny: The Trail Blazers survived a record first quarter by an opponent, but the Los Angeles Clippers wouldn't give up the lead in the second half and beat Portland 133-116 Tuesday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Blazers (30-20) never led. They drew within two points in the second half, 84-82, on Robert Covington's 3-pointer.
But, Reggie Jackson responded with a 3-pointer, Paul George two free throws and Jackson more points on a drive. And, L.A. kept pushing and Portland couldn't get any more traction.
The first quarter was epic. The Clippers scored 47 points, a franchise record for first quarter points and Blazers record for first quarter points allowed. It was 47-32 after the Clippers shot 72% in the first quarter.
Los Angeles kept up its hot shooting, moving the lead to 62-36. But, Portland started filling up the basket, led by CJ McColum and Norman Powell, and managed to cut the deficit to 73-66 at halftime.
The Clippers (34-18) quickly led by 14 points in the third quarter before Portland responded. But, the Clippers kept scoring.
George had 36 points, going 11 of 18 from the floor, 6 of 9 on 3-pointers and 8 of 8 at the free-throw line. Kawhi Leonard had 29 points and Jackson 23. The Clippers finished at .517 shooting.
Powell had 32 points and McCollum 24. Damian Lillard, facing tough defense and not getting open looks, had an off game with 11 points in 38 minutes, going 2 of 14 from the floor. Enes Kanter had 13 points and 15 rebounds. The Blazers were 11 of 36 from the 3-point line (.306) and shot .402 overall.
Nurk out: Jusuf Nurkic sat out the game with right knee inflammation. The Clippers played without Serge Ibaka.
Quotable: "I thought the first 16 minutes of the game was, frankly, a little embarrassing," coach Terry Stotts said.
Quotable 2: "It's up to me and the rest of the team to help (Lillard) out when teams sell out like that (on defense)," Stotts said.
Versus winners: The Blazers fell to 7-13 against teams with a .500 record or better.
Bench points: The L.A. bench players outscored Portland's 44-21.
Lillard's night: Lillard scored less than 20 points for only the sixth time, and his 11 points were his fewest since scoring nine on opening night against Utah.
He scored 16 points in 25 minutes in the previous game, a rout of Oklahoma City. He's 8 of 29 from the floor in the past two games.
Next up: The Blazers play the NBA Western Conference's top team, Utah, at 7 p.m. Thursday.
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