BROOKLYN -- It was a game that was going to set the tone for the Portland Trail Blazers seven-game road trip, according to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and after shaking off the rust; Portland was able to take advantage of the young Nets team.
Both Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter powered their way past Brooklyn to help the Blazers get a win to start the trip.
Blazers get the hard fought 113-99 win over the Brooklyn Nets to kick off this 7-game road trip! #RipCity— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) February 22, 2019
Kanter goes for 18 pts & 9 rebounds in his debut 💪@JamieHudsonNBCS breaks it down #PORvsBKN pic.twitter.com/BgbkA5U6pD
Here are some quick thoughts from the Blazers win over the Nets:
1. Kanter imposing his will
Enes Kanter checked in as a Trail Blazer for the first time at the 3:14 mark of the first quarter. He quickly showed Blazers fans what he will bring to this team on the offensive end as Kanter muscled his way past Ed Davis for two back-to-back lay-ins.
The last two days, Kanter has preached that he will bring the energy and against the Nets he showed that energy on both ends. This is a game that Kanter matched up well again with a small frontcourt.
In his first stint as a Trail Blazer, Kanter went 3-for-3 with six points and four rebounds in nine minutes of work. He made his first seven shots of the game.
2. Going up against Blazers East
Some of Rip City’s fan favorites are now with the Nets and you could tell the former players wanted to take it at their old team.
Midway through the 1st quarter all three former Trail Blazer players were on the court – Allen Crabbe, Shabazz Napier, and Ed Davis.
Shabazz and Davis showed their strong connection early with back-to-back successful pick and roll action. That was the first sign of the element of wanting to play well against your former team. Crabbe was also going hard at CJ McCollum one-on-one early.
Blazers fans should know—Nets fans seem to love/enjoy what all three former Blazers bring to their Nets team.
The second quarter Napier showed off some “Shabazzle Dazzle” with a between the legs pass to Crabbe who calmly knocked down the long three-pointer and the crowd went nuts. Which by the way, I felt like I was at a college game with section 114 chanting and standing for most of the game. It really was like having a student section going crazy for their team.
Napier had a career-high in assists of a half with eight assists.
3. Strong third quarter despite foul trouble
It wasn’t until the second half started the Blazers looked like they were finding their groove on offense. Portland outscored Brooklyn 34-22 in the quarter and that was despite both CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic picking up four fouls each by the eight-minute mark of the third.
The triple-double watch for Damian Lillard started midway through the third as well. With just minutes left in the 3rd period, Lillard had 10poimts, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
It was one of those off nights for Lillard, but he found different ways to help his team secure a victory.
The Nets made a run at the Blazers to make it a one-point game 7:25 mark in the final quarter after DeMarre Carroll knocked down a jumper, but Portland was able to take care of business down the stretch.
And, this ended up not being the triple-double game for Lillard, but we all know he always wants the win more than the triple-double feat.
NEXT UP: Portland continues its seven-game trip with a stop in Philadelphia for the second game of the road slate. Tip-off between the Blazers and 76ers is set for 10:00am PT with pregame coverage beginning at 9:00am on NBC Sports Northwest.
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