Trail Blazers get off the bad start with 47 points in the second quarter to beat Timberwolves who originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest
If there’s one thing that got us the last two games over the Portland Trail Blazer, it’s that first quarters aren’t necessarily indicative of future success or failure.
Tuesday night the Trail Blazers made 8 out of 15 shots out of three-point range against the Chicago Bulls in the first quarter , went up 20 points at the beginning of the second half – but lost the game.
On Thursday at the Moda Center, Portland made only one of its nine three-point attempts in the first quarter, was one point behind the Minnesota Timberwolves and crushed the visitors with one great second quarter that resulted in a 135-117 win that wasn’t nearly as close as the bottom line shows.
The Trail Blazers got eight of theirs in the second quarter knocked down ten three points and only missed six of their total of 24 shots. Meanwhile, the T-Wolves lacked dunks, layups and open threes. And when the teams adjourned at halftime, Portland had defeated Minnesota 47:27 in that time.
It was a monster neighborhood that started with just one blazer starter – CJ McCollum – on the floor, along with Carmelo Anthony, Gary Trent, Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood.
Coach Terry Stotts gradually flipped his line-up over the course of the quarter and the momentum and hot shooting never let up. Sometimes knowing when to make substitutions can be a tough decision when a team is as busy as the Blazers.
« It’s a problem, » said Stotts. “But you know, I learned a long time ago that it was a long game and the tides can change. If you drive a little too long, you can influence things on the road. So I had no problem bringing lady back in. That was a simple call. I am glad we were able to keep the momentum. “
The three points this quarter were important, of course, but Portland also got a huge contribution from its centers when Jusuf Nurkic went 5-5 and Enes Kanter 3-3 during that period. The blazers had 18 points in the color just in this quarter.
Damian Lillard, who came up with the idea of being more aggressive, attacked from the start and ended the first half with 26 points. He finished at 39. Portland led 111-80 after three quarters and the starters were ready for the evening. The end of the Trail Blazer Bank ended the evening and was beaten with 37-24 points in the last 12 minutes.
But until then there wasn’t much to fear. The second quarter had it taken care of.
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