Trail Blazers vs Nets Wednesday, 03/27/13 AT 07:30PM

Trail Blazers Struggle On The Glass, Lose 111-93

03/27/13
  1. Written by: erikgundersen  / avg. rating: 5.0

    BY ERIK GUNDERSEN

    The Portland Trail Blazers (33-38) lost a game they'd probably rather forget as the Brooklyn Nets (42-29) dominated them on the boards on their way to a 111-93 win in Portland.

    "That was obviously very discouraging the way we came out and played at the beginning of the game. Reggie Evans set the tone early on with his three offensive rebounds. They had 11 points in two and a half minutes or so," Terry Stotts said. "For whatever reason, we just weren't there."

    It's been stated here before, that the Trail Blazers have had trouble returning from road trips. The mood generally seems more jovial, but tonight didn't have such a tone. The players weren't as talkative as they had been in returns past, at least this season. With the Trail Blazers 2.5 games back with 12 games to go, the urgency seemed to be there but in the end, it wasn't.

    "For whatever reason, the game after a road trip hasn't been one of our better efforts. If you go back and look at games after road trips, they've been a struggle," Stotts said.

    They made their return home once again, but as tonight's example showed, Reggie Evans is the worst kind of house guest.

    Evans grabbed three rebounds in the game's first 92 seconds and set the tone for the rest of the night. Evans tied a career-high of 22 points and set a new career-high of 26 rebounds. All the while, he is battling an eye injury that makes it so he avoids looking at the bright lights on the stadium ceiling.

    "He's active. He doesn't stop. Basically, that's it. He has a nose for the ball. We knew that going into the game, but he just outworked us tonight," said JJ Hickson (eight points, seven rebounds).

    The Trail Blazers found themselves down by 20 points after the first quarter, struggling mightily to accomplish their goals coming into the game of being able to run and get out in transition. The Nets dominated the glass and the Trail Blazers, who were intent on pushing the pace, didn't have the ball to push. The Nets finished with a 54-40 rebound advantage. Brook Lopez also helped the Nets interior attack, scoring 28 points.

    LaMarcus Aldridge rolled his ankle in the first half but came back to give it ago. He was one of the few Trail Blazers in an offensive rhythm and finished the night with 24 points despite not playing the fourth quarter.

    The Trail Blazers are now 3.5 games back in the standings and three games back in the loss column of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference after the Lakers win tonight in Minnesota. The Trail Blazers are currently in 11th place in the West.

    The Trail Blazers were able to cut the Nets lead that got as big as 30 down to 14 with just under six minutes left in the game. A unit of Nolan Smith, Will Barton, Luke Babbitt, Meyers Leonard and Joel Freeland made an 11-0 run that gave Portland signs of life. Stotts stayed with his group that got the game closer and the Nets starters came back in to make sure the run did not go any further, which they were successful in doing. Leonard finished with 11 points and tied a career-high with nine rebounds.

    The Trail Blazers are off until Friday when they face the Utah Jazz. Tip-off will be set for 7:00 and the game will be shown on CSNNW and can be heard on 1190 AM and 102.3 FM.

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