The trailers that lost track extended to three games following the Clippers' 107-101 defeat on Thursday. Portland overcame a slow start to the attack to control the lead for an extended period of the second half. Due to a rally by Lou Williams and Kavi Leonard in the fourth quarter, she did not have the advantage. Out of a forgotten first half and roughly the last three minutes, the Blazers showed signs of improvement.
The loss is never ideal, but Antwerp Simmons and Hassan White have made valuable contributions in the second half. For Damien Lillard and SP McCullum to succeed, these efforts will have to become the standard for injury-depleted blazers.
Before the Nets visit Portland, here's a look at the Los Angeles score.
The action opened with the Clippers pushing the pace of the offense, leaving their form early in the season. Using the downhill movements of Patrick Beverly and Kavi Leonard, LA created an open look. When those shots didn't fall off, Clippers celebrated on the offensive boards generated by forced rotations of the Blazers' interior defenders. Coach Doc Rivers's team finished the open frame with seven offensive rebounds, an advantage of five boards in that column.
Offensively, Jay McCullum connected on only one of the first five attempts. Lillard stabilized the Blazers' score by seven points, and Kent Basemore kept pace with Lou Williams after the second units hit the ground. The Clippers finished the first quarter with a 26-22 lead.
The modest shooting performance in the first quarter reached a new degree in the second quarter. The Blazers' one-possession ownership has challenged the layout of all three levels, lowering their field goal percentage to 32% at halftime. Portland's shooting fights have been complemented by Ivica Zubac's dominance of Whitehead. Clippers' big fella easily provided jumps, collected fasting and completed his teammate's attempts at the opposite end.
Aside from the fight, the Blazers had two positives in the second period: Mario Ezona's defense against Leonard and a one-day offensive attempt to keep Portland at an incredible distance. The Clippers headed to the dressing room with a 47-40 advantage.
The Blazers came out of the halftime with a whole different energy. Stopped by a sudden mobile phone, Clippers' advantage on the glass suddenly vanished. That enthusiasm took him to the offensive end, where the former big man of JET began to roll over the screens, creating chances at the edge. Lillard and McCullum added Whitehead's effort with a cunning dribble move. Both guards took turns, haunting their defenses with careful timely attempts from the bow.
The Blazers finished the third quarter with a 76-70 lead.
Following the effort to rebuild White's door in the third quarter, Simmons turned the spotlight. Simmons established control early, exploding all 12 points on the Blazers in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. Awakened by his shooting outside, Simmons opened lanes and controlled the pace with his outside shooting.
Portland's leadership began with an act of disappearance when a three-headed LA attack was carried out. Montreux Farrell helped the Clippers establish their revanchist dominance, Williams secured a timely achievement, and Leonard imposed his will in the fourth quarter of 18 points. Leonard's arrival at the end of the game softened the Blazers 'lead, but Williams threw a three-point lead with 32.5 seconds remaining to extend the Clippers' lead to 103-99. Portland has never recovered, surrendering victory after a prolonged free-throw exhibition at the last minute.
Aided by a disappointing half-time analysis by the TNT crew, White's effort was heavily scrutinized. He was absolutely on fire in the first half at both ends of the field. White was routinely caught on the block when hunting for blocks instead of coming back and he was a step late to boxing his opponent when the attempts came off the arc. Offensively, he was stunned by the screens, often staying in place instead of moving to the bucket. When catching the ball, he often decided to shoot over the smaller defenders rather than powering to the edge.
The third quarter brought little return. White shifted his legs offensively and he was able to play Zubac off the pitch. Until equal efforts are made, White House critics will have plenty of ammunition.
White finished with 17 points and 19 rebounds (nine offensive) in 27 minutes of action.
Present versus Future
The battle between the backup keepers served as a great highlight for Thursday's match. Both Simmons and Williams took turns dominating the action at certain points. Williams has proven that he can easily generate anything from nothing. Even more impressive than that, he somehow maintains a chemistry with teammates regardless of floor staff. Simmons depicted the early frame of the same archetype. Because of his ability to move the floor and beat opponents at his own pace, Simmons has become a key ingredient of the second unit and composition of the time.
Williams finished with 26 points, while Simmons kept up with 17.
Rear door operated
Lillard finished with 22 points and six assists. His best work came against second-year winger Landry Hammett. The former Wichita state guard struggled to find an answer to the puzzle presented by Lillard.
McCullum's slow start was saved by a 14-point lead in the second half. Like Lillard, McCullum finished with 22 points. The former League schedule continued to struggle from above the arc. During Portland's current three-game losing streak, MacCallum went 3-16 in the distance.
Out of the box
The Blazers return to Portland to face the Nets on Friday.