The Trail Blazers stumbled in a resounding loss to the Clippers in their first road game of the season. Damian Lillard, who finished with 12 points, struggled from distance throughout his 28 minutes of action. Lillard went from 0 to 8 over the arc in Monday’s loss. Outside of Lillard’s struggles, the Blazers failed to protect the ball overnight. In the first three quarters, Portland gave up 21 turnovers.
For the Clippers, Luke Kennard came off the bench to do the show. The former Duke winger connected in his first five shots from the field and never looked back. In the three quarters, heading into the reserve-rich fourth quarter, Kennard recorded 20 points and connected on all but one of his attempts on the field.
CJ McCollum found his rhythm early thanks to a friendly against former Blazers forward Nic Batum. McCollum rolled it around early on. The Clippers answered the call with equal contributions from Paul George and Reggie Jackson. In the first six minutes, neither team was able to create separation from each other in the points column.
The last six minutes of the first frame went very differently. The rim has tightened for the Blazers. Only McCollum and Anfernee Simons connected on field goals in a tough six-minute streak for Portland. Defensively, the Blazers couldn’t match the pace of the Clippers. Los Angeles feasted on turnovers and got a 14-point advantage in the process.
Portland finished the first quarter behind 31-17. On the court, the Blazers connected on just 33.3% of their attempts.
The Blazers’ sloppy attacking play was postponed to the start of the second period. Uninspiring turnovers and offensive sets plagued Portland, allowing the Clippers to maintain a double-digit lead. Individually, reserve winger Luke Kennard couldn’t miss. He connected in his first five attempts and finished the first half with 17 points.
Thanks to contributions from McCollum and Simons, the Blazers avoided a 20-point hole in the second quarter. In 24 minutes of action, Damian Lillard was the only player in Portland’s starting lineup to record more assists than turnovers.
The Clippers reached the half-time break with a 56-42 lead.
Jackson came out of the intermission on fire. As the Blazers battled turnovers, Jackson relentlessly connected on open shots. After just three minutes, the Blazers signaled a time-out as the Clippers approached a 20-point advantage. The temporary pause in the action, however, did not allow for a change of pace. Portland’s revenue problems continued. Defensively, the Blazers were unable to thwart the Clippers’ fluid offense.
The Clippers were still one pass of a favorable look. The Blazers, on the other hand, were still one step away from a turnover. In the third quarter, the Clippers recorded 35 points and maintained a strong field goal percentage. The Blazers finished the third quarter down 30 points.
With the game getting out of hand, the Blazers turned to their deep bench early in the fourth quarter. Weft. It was a difficult night for Portland.
Stay tuned for our in-depth analysis later this evening.