The Blazers defeat the Pacers with a score of 103-93.
High scorers of the night were Zach Collins and CJ with 17, Dame with 16, with Biggie, Aminu, Turner, and Sauce all scoring in double digits.
This being the Blazers 3rd straight game on the road, you could expect them to be a little out of it and sluggish. The outcome? A very slow paced, sloppy, and low scoring quarter. Even though our starters only scored 11 points, our bench came in and got a little rhythm. Turner hit a couple straight shots, Curry hit a three, Sauce got a reverse layup, and we even got to see Biggie Swanigan get an And-1 play for his first points of the season. The Blazers bench scores 15 in the quarter and gives Portland the lead of 23-16 at the end of 1.
The Blazers start of the quarter with the same bench unit that ended the 1st, Curry, Sauce, Turner, Biggie, and Collins. The bench keeps the lead and it is time for CJ to come in and run the show. CJ comes into the game for Turner and keeps the ball moving and Blazers keep finding open shots. The good ball movement creates 2 wide open 3s for Sauce which, of course, he hits. Seeming to have a good quarter at the start, Portland puts the starters back into the game, but they still haven't been able to find a groove,with Dame only having one made bucket in the half. On the up side, Biggie played with a ton of energy off the bench and dropped 9 points and 9 rebounds. Blazers starters lose the lead and Pacers end the 1st half with a lead of 49-45.
It is a back and forth quarter. No team ends up going on any real run. Dame starts the quarter with a quick drive to the bucket and a top of the key 3. Pacers counter every Portland possession with a good possession of their own. Pacers continue to pull 3 after 3 but can't seem to hit anything which is helping the Blazers keep the game close. It is tied at 65 when the Blazers bench begins to check into the game and ET starts it off with a turnaround jumper. The bench keeps the game close throughout the rest of the quarter and even give Portland a lead of 71-69 heading into the 4th.
Blazers bench/Pacers kryptonite starts the 4th for Portland and Pacers also decide to keep their bench. Zach Collins continues to play great defense and always seems to be in the correct spot on offense. Nik and Zach connect for 2 more buckets through the 4th before Dame and other starters check back in. Dame checks in and hits a fall away mid-range J. Blazers looking to extend their end of the game lead and take one in indi. Portland keeps the lead and CJ comes alive a little bit, but Oladipo comes back and scores 7 straight to cut the lead down to 5. Aminu gets fouled and hits both, Oladipo misses a mid-range, and Dame calls game with a 3 point dagger to go up by 10 with 51 seconds left.
BLAZERS WIN! BLAZERS WIN!
TakeAways from tonight's game:
Too many unforced turnovers
Passing seemed very sloppy
Starters did not look ready to play
Promising Aspects from the game:
Biggie got rare minutes, got buckets, and brought energy
Bench scores 54 points
Blazers stay in a close game while Dame and CJ don't play great