For various reasons, the Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets were doomed by one bad quarter Wednesday.
In Philadelphia, Portland could never recover after an extremely slow start. In Cleveland, Brooklyn could not prevent LeBron James from taking over down the stretch.
The Trail Blazers and Nets will try to rebound from those tough stretches Friday afternoon when they get together at Barclays Center.
Portland (10-8) enters the game 4-4 in its last eight games. The Trail Blazers have not allowed more than 101 points in those contests but also have not scored more than 102 points in that span.
Portland's 101.9 points rank 19th after it missed its first 13 shots and gave up the first 16 points in Wednesday's 101-81 loss at Philadelphia. Although Damian Lillard scored 30 points, the Trail Blazers shot a season-worst 33.7 percent and the game dropped their offensive rating to 21st at 104.8.
"I don't know if it was anything they did," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "We couldn't buy a basket early. Missed open shots. Missed shots around the basket."
The fact that Portland's scoring offense is not in the bottom third of the league can be attributed to the first two weeks of the season.
In winning six of their first 10 games, the Blazers averaged 107.2 points while shooting 39.4 percent from 3-point range and getting to the line 26.4 times. In the last eight, those numbers are 94.6 points, 36.7 from 3 (42.9 percent overall) and 19.4 free throws per game, which was a point of contention for Lillard on Wednesday.
"I go to the rim a lot," he said after matching a season low with three free-throw attempts. "I'm getting smacked in my head, smacked on my shooting hand when I'm going to the basket. Guys knocking me to the ground every other play -- like hard. ... It's frustrating." >> Read more
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