The Trail Blazers had the good fortune of catching the Brooklyn Nets without Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie and Landry Shamet Tuesday night in Moda Center.
But in the NBA, the good teams can still put out effective offensive lineups, even without their best players.
Portland found that out, as Brooklyn posted a 116-112 win over the Trail Blazers, shooting .494 from the field.
That should not come as a surprise. In Portland’s previous seven games coming into this contest, opponents were shooting 51.7 percent against the Blazers.
Portland has won just four of its last eight games, in what was considered one of the few soft spots on its second-half schedule.
“We've had some good wins against some good teams,” Terry Stotts said. “Frankly, Brooklyn's not at full strength, so we didn't play a championship-level team today. We played a very good team that was missing two of its three best players. But, you know, obviously it wasn't like our last game against Dallas (a 40-point loss).
“But as long as we compete, we're in them, that's what we need.”
And you could hang this loss on the Portland backcourt – which is a very rare happening.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum struggled from the field, combining to go 10-36 from the field and 7-26 from three-point range. The other three Trail Blazer starters were 16-30 from the floor.
Lillard and McCollum were 1-10 in the fourth quarter from the floor, 0-7 from three and Lillard went scoreless.
Portland got 19 points, 19 rebounds and six assists from Enes Kanter while Jones and Covington pitched in with 13 points apiece.
James Harden’s 25 points and 17 assists led Brooklyn but the Trail Blazers, all in all, did a great job on him.
Harden finished just 7-24 from the field and 0-7 from three. And holding him to that kind of night would seem to predict a win.
But not on this night.