The Portland Trail Blazers looked slow and out of sorts Thursday, having a hard time on both ends of the court on the way to a 111-87 thrashing at the hands of the Indiana Pacers at the Moda.
The night following a record setting performance from beyond the arc, Portland just managed to shoot a paltry 36% from the floor (in addition to simply 30% from deep), and their 87 points is by the far the groups least expensive output of the season.
But the genuine letdown of the night happened midway through the 3rd quarter when Jusuf Nurkic exited the game with what was later on revealed as a fractured right wrist, apparently suffered after taking a bad swipe at the ball on defense, although the exact moment still stays to be identified. Details about the extent of the break in addition to any notion of healing time will come out soon, but this lacks a doubt an enormous blow to a group that has expectations to compete deep into the playoffs.
From the start, it needs to have been obvious that storm clouds were developing. Playing on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, and particularly following up Wednesdays barn burner versus the Kings where Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum needed to combat tooth and nail for a combined 85 minutes, you d have to question if tiredness would be an element tonight. Early on at least that didnt seem to be the case, as the two groups fought to a dead stop in the fist quarter, establishing what looked to be a another tense journey down ulcer gulch.
In those 5 minutes, the Blazers were outscored 12-2 as Doug McDermott came off the bench on fire for the Pacers. By the time McCollum and later on Lillard inspected back in with 4:57 staying in the half, Indiana looked and held a 12-point lead to be in full control.
From there, things went from bad to even worse. Portland, who has been amongst the league leaders at taking care of the basketball, couldnt take care of the rock if it was their mother, getting removed 7 times in the first half and turning the ball over 10 times as the Pacer lead swelled as much as 25 points. Domantas Sabonis provided fans flashbacks of his father, placing on a show in the post on his way to 23 points, 15 boards and 5 assists.
The Blazers made a couple of runs in the second half to a minimum of make things look decent, and pulled as close as 11 late in the 3rd quarter, but yet another roaring return just wasnt in them.
The Blazers will get a day of rest prior to hosting the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Pacific.
In those 5 minutes, the Blazers were outscored 12-2 as Doug McDermott came off the bench on fire for the Pacers. By the time McCollum and later on Lillard checked back in with 4:57 remaining in the half, Indiana looked and held a 12-point lead to be in complete control.
Portland, who has been amongst the league leaders at taking care of the basketball, could not take care of the rock if it was their mom, getting removed 7 times in the very first half and turning the ball over 10 times as the Pacer lead swelled as much as 25 points.