After splitting the weekend with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Trail Blazers head home upset about Sunday’s 114-112 loss.
But they don't think they're "stuck in mud" as Damian Lillard explained postgame.
At halftime with a two-point lead, it seemed Portland was going to overcome its sluggish start offensively.
But thanks to a career night from Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards’ and Minnesota living at the free throw line with their aggressive play, the Timberwolves handed the Blazers their 16th loss of the season.
Edwards led the way in the win with 34, while Damian Lillard’s scoring started and ended strong as he finished with 38.
But as is always noted before, during, and after back-to-back series games between the same two teams – it’s difficult to beat a team in two consecutive games.
However, there were other undeniable factors that Lillard pointed out postgame.
Losing to a team with the worst record in the league, or any other team you have no business losing to, is never encouraging or anywhere close to what a fan wants to see from its team.
But it’s not time to panic.
It’s time to prepare for CJ McCollum’s return.
With Jusuf Nurkic to follow suit.
McCollum is reportedly looking at a return in the coming week -- the Blazers are about to get that scoring they were looking for early on in Minnesota and then some.
And yes, while this is just the Timberwolves ninth win on the season, Edwards was playing with confidence and Minnesota seems to have a new lease on life with a new coach and a new half of basketball.
Plus, it’s the NBA, these types of losses occur even to the best of them.
Remember when Portland was without four of its five starters and still took down the best team in the East in early Feb., defeating the Sixers, 121-105?
Yeah, it happens.
"We lost," Lillard said. "I don't know what else to say. Obviously, we do what we do for our fans, but we're the ones out there playing. It's the NBA and just because a team has a bad record, they not going to lay down and let you beat them. That's the way it works. You lose games sometimes."
As the Blazers don’t look to dwell on this loss, Gary Trent Jr., who got hot from three in the second half and finished with 21 points, is not worried about his team moving forward.
“We’ll just continue to compete, watch film, stay with it day-by-day, something is going to have to give.”