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Poor Third Quarter Buries Trail Blazers Against Clippers

01/27/13
  1. Written by: erikgundersen

    BY ERIK GUNDERSEN

    LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers (22-22) with a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Unfortunately, 19 turnovers and 12-point third quarter was too much to come back from as they fell to the Clippers (33-13) 96-83.

    It was clear from the opening tip which team had lost the night before. The Clippers were the aggressors on both ends, getting into the chest of Portland's players on defense and getting to the rack on the offensive end. However, the Trail Blazers seemed unfazed in the first half with the pressure from the Clippers on both ends. They stayed with them, taking leads at times.

    The Clippers closed both the first and second quarters on 6-0 runs.

    "The Clippers came out, I thought, much more aggressive," Terry Stotts said. "First half, they had their runs and one of our goals against them is to limit their runs and not feed into their runs and I thought that kept them in the game in the first half."

    The Trail Blazers were down six at halftime, but the third quarter was where the game got away from them. The movement in Portland's offense was almost nonexistent. The Clippers were pressuring as soon as the Trail Blazers crossed half court and even through a full court press at the Trail Blazers at times. Portland struggled to get shots and when they did, it was the product of good offensive exception as 28 of their 29 made field goals were assisted. It seemed as though Aldridge and JJ Hickson (15 points, nine rebounds, five of nine from the field) were the only Trail Blazers in a good offensive rhythm.

    Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 23 points, nine assists and five rebounds, doing a little of everything in a winning performance.

    In addition to the 19 turnovers, the Trail Blazers did themselves no favors from the three-point line. The Clippers were closing out hard and Portland only attempted 15 three-pointers, nine fewer than their per game average, only making three. As important of a shot as the three-pointer is, the Clippers were intent and successful on taking it away. However, the Trail Blazers won't dwell on it and they won't make excuses.

    "We had a good win last night, they beat us tonight," Stotts said. "They played better than us today. It's nothing about perspective, we have to play better to beat a team like the Clippers at home."

    Portland has Monday off and they will face the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at the Rose Garden. That game will tip-off at 7PM and will be shown on CSNNW and can be heard on 1190 AM and 102.3 FM.

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