It was already going to be a difficult game in STAPLES Center Wednesday night for the Portland Trail Blazers. They were coming off a home win against the Suns, they lost starting PF Al-Farouq Aminu to a left calf strain, and they were facing the LA Clippers and their top-ranked defense.
For the third straight game, the Clippers beat an opponent by the largest margin in respective series history. LA won in San Antonio by 24 Saturday night. LA came home Monday night and beat the Pistons by 32. And the Clippers defeated the Trail Blazers 111-80 – a game that wasn’t even that close.
The Clippers went on a 10-0 run in the 1st quarter, taking a 36-16 lead at the end of the opening period. Clippers PF Blake Griffin scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the 1st quarter, playing all 12 minutes.
The Clippers had an 8-1 run in the 2nd quarter and led Portland 61-32 at halftime – tied for the largest halftime lead over the Trail Blazers in franchise history.
Last time Clippers led Trail Blazers by 29 points at halftime was Feb. 21, 1975 – in Buffalo. With Bob McAdoo, the 1974-1975 NBA MVP.
— ClipperBlog (@clipperblog) November 10, 2016
The Clippers ended any drama in the 3rd quarter, jumping out to an 18-1 run and leading by as many as 48 points. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers pulled the starters with 3:54 left in the 3rd quarter.
All there was to see in the 4th quarter was the season debut of Clippers SG Alan Anderson, who made 1-of-2 threes in 9:10. This was a wire-to-wire beatdown, and even with Portland outscoring the Clippers by 12 in the 4th quarter, the Clippers managed to defeat opponents by 30+ points for the first time in franchise history. The only other team since the 2014-2015 season to win back-to-back games by 30+ points? Last season’s Golden State Warriors (at Cleveland and at Chicago in January 2016).
With Portland starting Noah Vonleh at PF, Griffin had the scope out. Griffin and PG Chris Paul had a team-high 58 touches each for the game, and Griffin took 10 shots in the 1st quarter alone. This was the first game of Griffin’s career with at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and no turnovers. His activity on both ends of the floor was exceptional, and he led another stellar effort by the Clippers starters. In 18 minutes on the court, the Paul-J.J. Redick-Luc Mbah a Moute-Griffin-DeAndre Jordan lineup outscored Portland 46-27 while compiling a 58.4 net rating.
On the flipside, Portland’s starters got slaughtered. One night after Portland PG Damian Lillard and SG C.J. McCollum combined for 71 points, the Clippers held the backcourt tandem to 8 points each on a combined 5-of-21 FGs (23.8 percent). It’s one thing for the Clippers to eat up Ish Smith. It’s another to hold Lillard to 1-of-10 FGs (10.0 percent), tied for the 4th-worst percentage of Lillard’s career when taking at least 10 shots. Not that it’s anything new for the Clippers, a team that once held Lillard to 1-of-13 FGs in March of 2015.
And Lillard wasn’t alone. Trail Blazers C Mason Plumlee made only 1-of-12 FGs. Vonleh was benched at halftime for SF Evan Turner. None of the Portland starters reached double-figures. And after making 7 threes combined on Tuesday night, Lillard and McCollum missed all 6 three-point attempts, which satisfied this objective for the Clippers:
The Clippers host the Trail Blazers tonight, a rematch of the season-opener in Portland. What is most critical for another LA win?
— ClipperBlog (@clipperblog) November 9, 2016
Like last week, the Clippers will now go on the road for a Friday-Saturday back-to-back, starting in Oklahoma City. The Thunder lost tonight, one week after defeating the Clippers, so LA will enter that game with the best record in the Western Conference at 7-1. The Clippers also has the best record in the league for the first time since January 2013. There’s always room for improvement though…
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) November 10, 2016