When you are facing Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and one of the NBA’s most potent offenses in the Los Angeles Clippers, there’s little room for error.
The Portland Trail Blazers found that out the hard way on Tuesday and still, they fought.
At Staples Center in the Blazers and Clippers second meeting of the season, Los Angeles made a statement from the start, shooting 72 percent from the field in the first quarter and recording the highest-scoring first quarter of the season with 47 points. It was also the most LA has scored in a first quarter in team history.
Portland trailed by 15 points early.
The Clippers went on an 11-0 run to open up the second quarter, before a Carmelo Anthony three-pointer gave Portland its first bucket of the quarter four minutes in.
The Trail Blazers seized momentum of the game after trailing by as much as 26 points, and finally got shots to fall. Portland went on a 30-11 run to cut Los Angeles’ lead to seven at halftime, 73-66.
Norman Powell, CJ McCollum and Robert Covington continued to chip away at the Clippers lead, trimming the deficit to just two points, 84-82, midway through the third quarter.
But the Blazers would get no closer than that, as they fell to the Clippers at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
CJ McCollum was on fire in the first half. He had 20 points on 8-9 FG, three rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes of play. McCollum capped off the night with 24 points (9-15 FG, 2-4 3PT).
Norman Powell continues to fit nicely with his new team. The Trail Blazers guard had 32 points on 8-18 FG and added four rebounds in 37 minutes.
It was a tough, physical game for Damian Lillard who was patrolled all game long by the Clips. For the night, he was 2-14 FG and 1-6 3PT for 11 points.
Paul George was nearly unstoppable. He let it rain on Portland, dropping 36 points on 11-18 FG and 6-9 from three-point range.
Norman Powell is always on the attack.
Next up: Another test is coming soon.
The Trail Blazers, now 30-20, will make their next stop in Utah Thursday. The Blazers and Jazz (38-12) will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PST on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.