11/28 Blazers 115, Magic 112The Blazers put an end to their three game losing streak on Wednesday, holding off a late run by the Orlando Magic to sweep the season series. Damian Lillard took matters into his own hands, setting a franchise record with 10 3-pointers made on his way to 41 points. After trailing 55-63 at halftime, the Blazers outscored the Magic 40-21 in the third to surge ahead (behind 7 triples from Dame) and take an eleven point lead into the fourth. Orlando battled back in the final quarter, trailing by just one point with two minutes remaining. Plenty of mistakes were made down the stretch, and the door was left wide open after McCollum, Lillard and Turner all missed key free throws that would have been enough to put the game out of reach. It wasn’t pretty, but when it mattered most, the Blazers were able to get the defensive stops they needed to get head coach Terry Stotts his 400th career victory.
11/30 Blazers 112, Nuggets 113The Denver Nuggets got the win on Friday night after a wild finish in Portland. The Blazers slowly but surely came back to erase a 17 point deficit and tie the game on a CJ McCollum jumper with 1:00 left in the fourth. Jamal Murray picked up a foul and knocked down 2 free throws on the next possession, but CJ answered back with a quick bucket in the lane to even the score again with 37 seconds remaining. The tie was broken on the next trip down when Gary Harris hit a cold blooded 3-point dagger, putting Denver ahead with 16.5 to play. CJ responded with a dunk on the other end and the Nuggets lead was cut down to one at the 10 second mark. After some strong defense on two inbound attempts, the Blazers forced Jamal Murray to step on the baseline and regained possession for a chance to win the game with 5.7 on the clock. Damian Lillard rounded the top of the key, drove the lane and kicked to a wide open McCollum, who had been the hot hand with 15 points in the fourth. His jumper came up just short as the final buzzer sounded… and despite a solid comeback effort, Rip City lost another heart-breaker on their home floor.
12/2 Blazers 118, Spurs 131The team traveled to San Antonio over the weekend for a matchup with Lamarcus Aldridge and the Spurs on Sunday night. The Blazers shot the ball well (52.3%), but couldn’t find a way to match the effort of a motivated home team coming off two consecutive blowout losses. The Spurs shot a blistering 60.2% from the field and 73.3% from deep. Damian Lillard had a great game offensively with 37 points, and helped keep the game closer than the final score will reflect. Demar Derozan led the way for the Spurs with a season high 36 points, and Aldridge contributed 28 to help the Spurs even up the season series at one game each. After a very hot start to the season the Blazers have now dropped five out of the last six contests. Their next opportunity will be Tuesday night in Dallas for the second half of this two game Texas road trip.