Damian Lillard broke the Portland franchise record for three-point field goals made in a single season as the Trail Blazers defeated the Wizards 116-103. He set the previous record during his rookie year with 185. After making 3-8 tonight, Lillard has set the new record at 186 and will continue to build on it for the next 13 games this season. Averaging 2.7 per game, it won’t be long before Lillard breaks 200 even.
Though Lillard finished the game with 23 points, he was not the only Trail Blazer to get hot. Both Wesley Matthews (game-high 28 points) and Dorell Wright (15 points) deserve near equal mention for leading the charge from deep. Each of them made 3 or more threes to go with a slew of impressive finishes at the rim. The trio kept Washington spread pretty thin, allowing for some surprisingly impressive interior work from Portland’s bench brigade.
I would like to see Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson share the court more often. They connected on a handful of smart passes within feet of the rim. Both players were valuable contributors on the scoreboard and the glass with 7 points, 2 assists, 6 rebounds and 7 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds respectively. As a team, the Trail Blazers tallied and 32 dimes. The ball movement was better tonight than it has been since before the All-Star break.
The game was pretty close throughout the first three quarters when John Wall was able to keep things interesting. He finished the game with 24 points and 14 assists, but was held entirely scoreless in the 2nd and the 4th when his rhythm was broken with substitutions. The Trail Blazers had enough depth to keep the points rolling in and were never caught in one of the extended droughts that have characterized their recent play.
In Washington’s defense, starting center Marcin Gortat was a late scratch after straining his lower back in shoot around. He was anticipated to make life especially difficult for the Aldridge-less Blazers, who were only moderately abused by Drew Gooden (18 points, 9 rebounds) in his stead. The Trail Blazers needed a morale booster and this was it. They now face a five game road trip beginning this Saturday in Charlotte before their next home game.