CLEVELAND – The Portland Trail Blazers entered Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers looking to avoid a trap game against the lowly Cavs and improve its 12-15-road record.
Not only did the Blazers avoid a trap game, but, they put on a show in the first half.
The ball movement, the three-point shooting, and the team defense – it was all on point for Portland in the first two quarters as the Blazers came away with a 123-110 win over the Cavaliers.
Even though it’s been a rough season for Cleveland, they had been playing well recently, and the Cavs showed that when they almost completed a comeback against Portland.
It was a tale of two halves but the Blazers pull this one out in Cleveland, 123-110 over the Cavs #RipCity @JamieHudsonNBCS breaks it down as Portland starts the road trip off 3-0 🏀 pic.twitter.com/IB534LKui7— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) February 26, 2019
Here are some quick thoughts from the Blazers third straight road win:
1. Blazers get off to a quick-start
Portland hit its first three three-pointers and started off the game with a 14-0 lead. To end the 1st quarter the Blazers were up 29-18 after shooting 57.9% from the field.
The quick start was more impressive on the defensive end. Portland was active with its hand and made sure to disrupt the Cavs’ offense.
The quick start proved the Blazers were not overlooking the Cavs who entered this game with a 14-46 overall record with just nine home wins on the season.
The Blazers shooting continued to rise in the second quarter as Portland continued its impressive play. It should come as no surprise that the Blazers are now 3-0 post All-Star break. For the past few seasons this has become a normal thing to see a surge in this team. Blazers head coach Terry Stotts attributes a lot of the second half of the season success to Damian Lillard. That’s what he told the media before Monday’s game.
The Blazers biggest lead of the first half was 23 after shooting 68% for the half, which is their best shooting half of the season.
2. Raining threes
It was a fitting way to end the first half with Maurice Harkless knocking down a three-pointer from the wing at the buzzer because it had been a big half of splashing in threes. Portland converted 11 of its 13 three-point attempts.
Sometimes it feels like three-point shooting is contagious and that can be a good thing or bad thing. For the Blazers it was all-good in the first half on Monday night.
The second half wasn’t as kind to the Blazers, but Portland was able to overcome the Cavs 36-17 third quarter. The Blazers cooled off from three and went 0-for-6 from deep in the third.
The NBA is a game of runs and that was definitely the case in Cleveland on Monday.
3. Blazers able to hold off comeback, but it wasn’t easy
CJ McCollum was a big reason the Blazers were able to hold onto the lead and get a fourth straight victory. McCollum was scoring in a variety of ways the entire game. He was shooting 8-of-10 through the first three quarters and continued his hot shooting to help his team finish strong.
The Blazers stayed calm down the stretch and didn’t let the loud Cavs fans get to them despite the Blazers’ tale of two halves as far as shooting goes.
McCollum hit two clutch three-pointers down the stretch to really secure the victory. NEXT UP: The Trail Blazers visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night in the fourth game on this seven-game trip. Tip-off is set for 5:00pm PT start time. Our pregame coverage tips off at 4:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest.
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