Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Blazers win over the Clippers originally appeared on nbcsportsnorthwest.com
LOS ANGELES – The Trail Blazers tipped off a three-game road trip that includes visits to the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs later this week. First up for Portland, was a streaking Clippers team. Damian Lillard at Tuesday morning's shootaround said he knew we were all "gonna be in for a good one."
Let's just say, Tuesday's second half did not disappoint.
Entering Tuesday's showdown, the Clippers had won five straight games and eight of their past 10. Despite a slow start from the Blazers, Portland was able to snap the Clipps' winning streak with a 125-104 win.
Here are some quick thoughts from the Blazers road win:
1. Clippers quick start
The Clippers were missing nearly 20 points per game with starting small forward Danilo Gallinari out due to rest in the second night of a back-to-back.
Yet LA hit their first three three-pointers and was shooting over 53% from the field midway through the first quarter. The Clippers are really a team that plays with a lot of confidence and swagger and that was evident early. LA looked to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the scoring out of the gate. The rookie PG averages 10 points on the season, but in the first quarter he had already recorded nine points.
It looked as though the Blazers were the ones who had played on Monday night after several Blazer players left their shot attempts short or even air balled them in the first half. But the Blazers must have just needed a little extra time to warm-up. Portland outscored the Clippers 27-22 and 35-32 in the second and third quarters and took that momentum into the fourth.
2. Blazers' second unit sticks with Clippers' bench in 1st half
Before Tuesday's game, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts told the media he would be happy if his second unit could "keep pace" with the Clippers and that's exactly what they did in the first half. The Clippers lead the league in 53 points per game at this point in the season.
At the break, the Blazers' bench scored 21 points to the Clippers' 23 bench points. By the end of the third quarter, the Clippers' second unit had outscored the Blazers' second unit 40-25.
Montrezl Harrell kicked it up a notch on both ends in the second half and was a handful to deal with as he often is, especially battling down low on defense.
It was a complete team effort for the Blazers on backup guard Lou Williams. Williams had just nine points on 3-of-8 shooting at the half after scoring 34 points the night before in the Clippers win over the Celtics and 40 points in the game before that. So yes, Williams has been getting buckets, but not against the Blazers. He had 14 points after three quarters.
3. CJ McCollum comes alive in the 2nd half
CJ McCollum started the game 0-for-7 from the field and looked frustrated at times, but hey, shooters are gonna shoot. McCollum went on a tear in the second half. He finished the game with 35 points on 12-of-21 shooting, including 6-of-11 from long distance. It's always very encouraging to see your starting shooting guard be able to turn things around after a bad first half and that was a big key to a Blazers' victory on Tuesday.
NEXT UP: Portland continues its three-game road trip on Friday night with a matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans on 5:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest. Our pregame coverage starts at 4:00pm.
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