In the first game of their road trip, the Trail Blazers annihilated the 76ers 139-105. Portland made an unprecedented 21 3-pointers, shattering the franchise record they set against the Utah Jazz on December 6th, and falling just short of the all-time NBA record held by the Houston Rockets & Orlando Magic (23). In fact, it only took them three quarters to top their previous best, finishing the third with 18 3-pointers made.
Most impressive was Dorell Wright, whose low usage was recently brought into question. Wright shot a perfect 5-5, all from the arc, for a season high of 15 points. He was one of eight Trail Blazers to finish in double digits. Thanks to a 40 point third quarter that left Portland up 32 at the start of the fourth, 13 Trail Blazers got to play tonight (all of whom scored).
It’s pretty clear that Terry Stotts has more interest in protecting his players than setting records, because he played deep into the bench the whole fourth quarter, instead of pursuing the NBA 3-point record, which would have been easily attainable at that point. I’m a little bit disappointed, but I stand by his decision. Playing the starters longer than necessary just risks injuries that Portland doesn’t need.
Interestingly enough, the Sixers shot a better percentage from three than the Trail Blazers did (60.0% to Portland’s 56.8%), but neither team was struggling from deep. The key to Portland’s success was ball movement and volume. They drastically out-assisted the Sixers 41-26 and made it clear why they boast the highest rated offense in the NBA. This game was over by the third quarter. The Trail Blazers look to keep their momentum as they face Detroit Pistons tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. PST.
20 pts, 16 reb, 5 ast
18 pts, 6 reb, 7 ast