After scoring a season low 10 points in the second quarter against the Pacers, it was apparent that it was not Portland’s night.
And then early in the third quarter, things turned from bad to worse for the Blazers and it didn’t have to do with the score.
Portland’s starting center Jusuf Nurkic suffered a right wrist fracture.
Before Nurkic went straight to the locker room during a Portland timeout it looked like he injured his wrist while swiping down at the ball on a drive from Malcolm Brogdon. Then on the same possession, Pacers big man Myles Turner drove into Nurk in the paint, creating some good contact, which sent Nurk to the hardwood.
It was also a tough shooting night for the Blazers, who started out 4-of-13 from the field.
The Pacers held a 24-21 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to their perimeter defense and their guards bringing the scoring punch.
Indiana had fresh legs and it showed.
The Pacers continued to build on their lead and cruised to 111-87 victory over the Blazers.
Despite being one of the four teams involved in the James Harden blockbuster trade Wednesday and losing their All-Star Victor Oladipo, the Pacers responded well.
The Pacers acquired Caris LeVert in the deal, but since the trade is not yet official he was not with the team Thursday.
Entering the final period, the Blazers were down 84-71.
Shooters are going to shoot – CJ McCollum turned it up in the third quarter after having a rough first half offensively, especially from three.
But really this was a game the Blazers were happy to hear the final horn sound. It really wasn’t their night.
With Nurkic suffering yet another injury at Moda Center, he could miss up to 32 games this season if surgery is needed, per NBA trainer Jeff Stotts.
The Blazers looked like a team that was playing in their first back-to-back of the season. Portland was a step behind especially on the defensive end.
Whether it was Malcolm Brogdon or Doug McDermott, the Pacers were getting a lot of contributions from their guards all night long.
Damian Lillard was doing a little bit of everything per usual.
Indiana outscored Portland 33-10 in the second quarter. That was a season-low in a quarter for the Blazers.
Next up: The Trail Blazers continue their seven-game homestand with game number two Saturday when the Atlanta Hawks visit Moda Center. Portland and Atlanta will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PST Thursday on NBCSNW.