Trail Blazers

Blazers start road trip with a blowout win over shorthanded Pacers

Trail Blazers
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It was a high scoring affair for the Trail Blazers in Indiana.

As Portland tipped off its six-game road trip, Tuesday, the offense was clicking.  

After notching 39 points in the second quarter to take a 73-62 halftime lead over the shorthanded Pacers, the Trail Blazers continued to cruise in the third quarter.

The three-point shooting, the second-chance points, and the finishing at the rim -- it was all there for the Blazers as Portland defeated Indiana 133-112.

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The Blazers went on a 22-9 run midway through the second quarter with Anfernee Simons giving the Blazers a big scoring and playmaking boost off the bench. Simons had 12 points in his first 14 minutes of action.  

Indiana relied on its perimeter, which is what the Pacers have been doing with so many injuries as of late.

 

FINAL BOX SCORE: Trail Blazers 133, Pacers 112 

The Pacers were without Goga Bitadze (left ankle; sprain), Jeremy Lamb (left knee; sore), Domantas Sabonis (sore lower back), Myles Turner (right toe; partial plantar plate tear) and T.J. Warren (left foot; stress fracture).

Portland shot 52.0 percent from the field in the first quarter, but Indiana shot 56.5 to take a one-point lead at the end of the first 12 minutes.

Following that first quarter, Portland took over.

Five Blazers scored in double figures by halftime.

The Good: 

Portland started to get separation early thanks to their second chance buckets. Whether it was Robert Covington or Enes Kanter, Portland was cleaning the offensive glass.

The Blazers had 14-second chance points, while the Pacers had just five in the first half.

It was a get right game for several Blazers.

Covington, who was coming off a tough shooting game against the Grizzlies, notched a quick 10 points in the first quarter. Covington finished with his sixth double-double of the season, 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Damian Lillard attacked the basket early and often, drawing fouls and getting buckets in a variety of ways. Lillard scored 23 points on 6-of-14 shooting while playing just 31 minutes. Lillard also led the charge defensively in the second quarter to help his team bring the energy on that end of the floor. 

Portlands bench also contributed in a big way offensively.

 

With so much attention on Lillard and McCollum, Anfernee Simons took advantage of open looks from three.

To say the least. 

Simons tied a franchise record with seven straight made threes in a single game, tied with Terry Porter, who notched the feat in 1992.

But he wasn't done yet. Simons would hit his first nine threes.

In the second quarter, it was CJ McCollum and Simons who caught fire. Simons showed off his vision, but he also knocked down four threes in the quarter. Simons recorded a season-high 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including an elite 9-for-10 from deep.

The Bad: 

The Blazers relied heavily on their three-point shooting as they’ve done all season, but they also struggled to run the Pacers off the three-point line in the first half. Malcolm Brogdon, who is averaging just under 22 points per game this season, went to work early. He notched 16 points in the first half to lead the Pacers.

Brogdon finished with 18 points in 28 minutes of work.

The Pacers also got a big spark from TJ McConnell off the bench. McConnell scored in bunches in the first half. He also put his teammates in optimal position to score.

The Highlight:

Simons sets a new team record:

The Stat: 

The Blazers’ notched 20 offensive rebounds to the Pacers seven.

Next up: The Trail Blazers continue their six-game road trip, in Memphis on Wednesday. The Blazers and Grizzlies are set to tip-off at 6:00p.m. PT on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.