11/20 Blazers 118, Knicks 114The Portland Trail Blazers narrowly escaped with the win at the Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, beating the New York Knicks on their home floor. After trailing by double digits in the third quarter, the Blazers went on a 24-10 run to take a four-point lead into the fourth. CJ McCollum caught fire down the stretch, scoring 14 of his team high 31 points in the final quarter, but it was Evan Turner’s put back with 9.5 seconds remaining that sealed the victory. Damian Lillard had 29 points on the night to go along with 8 assists and 6 rebounds. The Blazers leaned heavily on their star backcourt, who accounted for more than half of the team’s total points. Jusuf Nurkic finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds (his fifth consecutive double-double) and Meyers Leonard contributed 15 points in 17 minutes off the Blazer bench. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way for the Knicks with a game high 32 points, and former Blazer Noah Vonleh had a solid outing with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Portland improved to 2-2 on this six game road trip as coach Terry Stotts picked up his 399th career win. 11/21 Blazers 100, Bucks 143Rip City took a punch to the gut in Milwaukee on Wednesday as the Blazers suffered their worst loss of the young season. The Bucks definitely got their revenge for the November 6th loss at the Moda Center and improved to 9-1 on their home floor. Milwaukee controlled the tempo from the opening tip, jumping out to a commanding 26-7 lead. Giannis Antetokounmpo was unstoppable in the first half, scoring 25 points on 11-14 shooting. Portland found themselves trailing 72-50 after the first two quarters… and things didn’t get much better in the second half. The Blazers struggled to get anything going offensively, shooting just 37% from the field and connecting on only 9 of 41 attempts from deep. Meanwhile, the Bucks shot 53% and led the way in virtually every statistical category. Dame and CJ each managed 22 points, and Jusuf Nurkic was the only other Blazer to reach double figures with 16 points. Needless to say, there wasn’t much production off the bench. The “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo finished the game with a season high 33 points, 16 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals. 11/23 Blazers 97, Warriors 125The Blazers were at Oracle Arena on Friday to take on the defending champs, who had been facing their own struggles over the previous week. The Warriors were on a four-game losing streak leading up to this game, including an embarrassing loss to OKC two nights earlier. The Blazers were also looking to move forward after a bad loss in Milwaukee, and both teams were hungry for the win. Portland came out shooting and held a 3-point lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Warriors started the second on a 22-5 run and never looked back. Golden State shot a blistering 57% from the field and 53% from deep. The Warriors snapped their losing streak without the help of Steph Curry and Draymond Green, who were both sidelined with injuries. Kevin Durant led the way with 32 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists while shooting 13-21 from the field. Klay Thompson was close behind with 31 points, and Quinn Cook filled in nicely for Steph at PG with 19 points, shooting 5-8 from behind the arc. Portland has not won a game at Oracle Arena since November 23rd, 2013. Despite the loss, Damian Lillard scored 23 points, which was enough to pass Terry Porter and move him into 3rd place on the Blazers all-time scoring list. Congrats Dame!!! 11/25 Blazers 100, Clippers 104Portland was finally back home at the Moda Center on Sunday night to face off with another tough Western Conference opponent, the upstart LA Clippers. After leading 58-45 at the break, The Blazers were forced to play without their starting center Jusuf Nurkic in the second half due to a bruised shoulder, and LA took advantage of his absence down low.The Clippers went on to outscore the Blazers 38-16 in the third quarter. Damian Lillard fought hard in the fourth to bring his team back, scoring 7 quick points in crunch time to tie the game with 1:53 remaining, but Danilo Gallinari broke the tie with a jump shot on the next possession. Patrick Beverley later closed the deal with two free throws after Portland wasn’t able to secure a crucial rebound down the stretch, and the Clippers handed the Blazers their third consecutive loss in a heartbreaker. Tobias Harris scored 34 points for LA, shooting 14-22 from the field. Lillard finished with 30 points. The Blazers are 12-8 through the first twenty games of the season.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger