Portland trailed by as many as 24 points in the second half before a furious late comeback just fell short. The Clippers were led by former-Blazer Jamal Crawford’s game-high 25 points off the bench.
Here are the awards, grades and analysis of the Blazers’ loss.
Player of the Game
Nicolas Batum: 23 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 6-18 FG
Batum’s development continues to be a big story for Portland.
The loss marked the first time the Blazers lost when Batum scored at least 15 points—a benchmark for what the team must achieve to be successful this season.
Batum played a big role in the second-half comeback, including converting a layup after a rare isolation up top to end the third quarter to pull Portland to 77-71.
Key Moment of the Game
After a pair of impressive dunks were made by rookie Meyers Leonard, the Blazers cut the deficit to 86-82 with seven minutes, 28 seconds to go in the fourth.
The Clippers, however, ended the game on a 17-8 run as Crawford, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul took over down the stretch.
The Blazers’ energy was lacking to finish the rally, and they eventually lost the game by 13.
The baptism continued for rookie sensation Damian Lillard, who went up against arguably the top point guard in the league, Chris Paul.
Lillard finished with 16 points, four assists and two rebounds—well under his season averages. While no one expected Lillard to keep up the pace he set early on, this experience was invaluable toward his development.
Tweets of the Night
LaMarcus Aldridge needs to remember he became an All-Star when he played at or near the rim. He’s become lazy/in love with his jumper again
— Jason Quick, The Oregonian November 8, 2012
Back at it tomorrow. Learn from it and become a better team.#RipCity
— Meyers Leonard, November 8, 2012
What They Said
Are they the best team in Los Angeles? “It would appear so,” Stotts said. (via Joe Freeman of The Oregonian)
In a salty postgame interview Thursday after a 7-of-17 shooting night, Aldridge said he doesn’t believe he is shooting too many jumpers.
“I don’t,’’ Aldridge said. “Obviously you do, you asked the question.’’ (via Jason Quick of The Oregonian)
“The truth of the matter is, we definitely had a letdown,” [Chris] Paul said. “But I think those [Trail Blazers] guys had a burst of energy. And this is a tough place to play. I’d put this as one of the top five toughest places to play in the NBA.” (via Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times)
Final Grade: C
Despite being down big in the second half, the Blazers showed some fight and resiliency—traits that have characterized the team this season.
The bench, one of the lowest scoring units in the league, had its best outing with 22 points, led by Leonard’s eight points and six rebounds.
However, the Blazers simply cannot get down by 20—even on their home floor—and expect to win. After starting 2-1, Portland could face a third straight defeat with San Antonio coming to town on Saturday.
Read more Portland Trail Blazers news on BleacherReport.com
For more click to continue on to http://bleacherreport.com/