Trail Blazers help right the ship with 116-100 win over Indiana
On the heels of a quality win at Utah, the Trail Blazers picked up where they left off in Salt Lake City, defeating Indiana 116-100 Sunday night, Dec. 4, at the Moda Center in Portland.
Fueled by the return of Damian Lillard who missed the past seven games due to a calf injury, Portland (13-11) survived a somewhat sluggish start to cruise to a relatively easy win over the visiting Pacers (12-11) who were playing the fifth game of a seven-game road trip.
Lillard finished with 21 points, six assists and four rebounds, shooting 7-of-16 from the field, including 5-for-10 from behind the arc.
Portland shot 48 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from the three-point line, led by Lillard and Anfernee Simons who were a combined 10-for 19 from distance.
Simons tallied 22 points and six assists in 36 minutes and was part of an impressive starting unit that included Jerami Grant who led the team with 28 points, five rebounds and three assists; Jusuf Nurkic who notched 19 points; and Josh Hart who finished with 11 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds on 5-of-8 shooting.
Indiana was led by Myles Turner and Buddy Hield who combined for 46 points and 20 rebounds.
After falling behind 17-9 early, Portland led 28-24 after a quarter, 54-49 at the half, and 93-74 after three quarters before cruising to victory in the fourth.
Sunday's game was the first of a four-game homestand which will include games with Denver, and back-to-back games with Minnesota before six straight road games at San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, two games at Oklahoma City, and Denver.
Portland had a season high 32 assists versus the Pacers.
The Blazer bench was limited, scoring just 15 points, led by rookie Shaedon Sharpe who scored six points and grabbed three rebounds on just four shot attempts.
Portland outscored Indiana by 14 in what amounted to the deciding third quarter.
The Blazers knocked down a season high 17 three-pointers.
Game Grade A-
For reasons unbeknownst it's commonplace to drop home games after successful road trips or quality road wins, and Portland didn't go that route tonight. Fueled by Jerami Grant, a strong first half by Nurkic and the return of Lillard, the Blazers got a much needed win in the wake of a quality win at Utah and on the heels of losing seven-of-eight.
Despite falling behind early, the Blazers controlled the game for the bulk of the contest and got sound offensive performances from their primary contributors including Lillard, Grant, Nurkic, Simons and Hart.
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