Back home after a "road trip" not necessarily convincing, the Blazers are still hesitant early in the game. In the duel of superstar leaders, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving strike without delay behind the arc but it is the Nets who take the best start. Hassan Whiteside fucks a big dunk, well served by Mario Hezonja but the pivot of the Blazers also missed several golden opportunities near the circle.
At the same time, CJ McCollum is not in at 0/4. Anfernee Simons replaces him and concludes the alleyopo launched by Damian Lillard. But Brooklyn still retains the hand with Spencer Dinwiddie who enters three bombs from far to keep his team 6 lengths (26-20). At 5/10 by far, Brooklyn has this slight advantage.
The second quarter confirms the broad trend: that Portland holds the shock by the sole will of Damian Lillard. After 11 points after the first quarter, he added 15 in the second, with an impressive mastery of his art, shooting from a distance. Gary Trent also takes a shot behind the arc and Nassir Little gets off the bench to give solid defense minutes (and even a small layup to the touch), but Brooklyn is above, at +10 after a Joe Harris layup. If Irving is less adept, Dinwiddie stays on course, but Lady can reduce the distance with two new individual exploits before the bell (54-49).
Damian Lillard crashes 60 points … for nothing!
The second half begins under better auspices for locals with Hassan Whiteside who seems more involved. The pivot even concludes a superb dunk flapper but refused because McCollum touches (unfortunately) the face of Jarrett Allen. Lady is still crazy and he puts the Blazers in front with 32 points … in 22 minutes!
Mario Hezonja has two layups but the Nets maintain their advantage with their Irving – Dinwiddie doublet. The first is 25 points while the second is 27 units. Lillard still gets a huge 3-point despite contact, but Kyrie attacks the defense, even though it's Allen who reaped the fruits in the offensive rebound. Kenny Atkinson tries a box on Lillard (with Temple then Nwaba) but Portland still pushes with a big clapper dunk of Skal Labissiere. After three quarters of the time, there are only three points difference (89-86).
Already well affected by the glitches in their inner area, the Blazers see Labissiere writhing in pain after a twist of his left ankle. Really not the news expected for Rip City.
Meanwhile, Dinwiddie continues to add to his personal total and rookie Nicolas Claxton (1st career game) comes to light with a big activity in rebounds. In the (very) hard, McCollum still reduces his team to -1 and Lillard reaches 50 pawns with 7 minutes left to play. But Portland missed out on his time. Joe Harris equalizes and then gives a layer, before Irving takes control in the crunch.
Despite a 16-2 to count +10 less than 2 minutes from the end, Lillard brings his team back to -5 but Irving gets the shot that hurts. The leader of the Blazers finished at 60 points, franchise record … in the defeat (119-115).