Damian Lillard’s 50 points is not enough to stop the Cavaliers

Damian Lillard went on to get a season-high 50 points, however Portland Trail Blazers The task cannot be finished against Cleveland Cavaliers On Thursday evening, he collapsed down the stretch and fell 119-113 at Moda Center.

Cleveland was one of the rookie teams in the East last season and only improved with the acquisition of Donovan Mitchell, who was let go midfield. Utah Jazz Demolished back in September. It couldn’t have gone any better for the Cavs, as the eastward move didn’t knock Mitchell off his game in the slightest. Midway through the season, Mitchell is having his best year as a pro, averaging nearly 30 points per game, including a Kobe-esque 71-point burst on January 2. Chicago Bulls.

Lillard’s 50 points were highly efficient – coming on just 28 shots. Overall shot 16-28, 13-15 from the foul line. Jerami Grant added 22 points.

Mitchell made most of his damage in the fourth quarter and finished with 26 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

First Quarter

The Blazers started this game either laser-focused or completely unaware, depending on which side of the ball one preferred to look at. On the offensive end, Portland ran straight out of the gates with Grant cutting on the opening ball. They proceeded to drop the first six shots. Lillard and Simons both connected with a contested trio, Josh Hart making his way to transition. Just five minutes into the opening tip, the Blazers were already sitting on 21 points.

But despite the hot start, Portland failed to pick up steam, mainly because of an inexplicably weak inside defense. With the Blazers’ attention firmly focused on the Cleveland backcourt, the Cavs were upset when Portland predicted a slalom for them. Mitchell and Darius Garland attacked the paint off the high catch and roll, forcing Jusef Nurkic into no man’s land between a charged Combo All-Star guard and Garrett Allen’s 7-foot lob machine standing unhindered next to the basket. Cleveland identified the weak point early and exploited it relentlessly, scoring four alley bunts on nearly identical plays before Chauncey Billups called time out.

Portland fared better against Cavs defenses. Three free throws by Lillard in the final minute helped the team clinch a 32-27 lead after another.

Second Quarter

For part of the second quarter, it looked like the Blazers’ juggling action had finally found its rhythm. Nurkic helped make up for his earlier troubles with brilliant defensive stops against Garland, then rounded out the sequence with a bruise on Allen. The often threatening Caris LeVert was a non-factor on Cleveland’s second unit, and Mitchell struggled with his hitting for most of the half. All the while, Lillard kept Portland’s offense teetering along with consistent production. Back-to-back drives to the trophy by Dame gave the Blazers a 43-29 lead at the halfway point of the period.

But the momentum couldn’t be sustained, as Mitchell and Allen helped the Cavs finish the half strong. Mitchell’s throw to drive with 0.2 remaining cut Portlands lead to 7 at 58-51 heading into the break.

Third quarter

The third quarter mirrored a lot of the first, as the Blazers found their shooting hit early on and Cleveland made the edge look like a NERF game attached to the bedroom door. Garland and Liard traded threes, Hart and Mitchell free throws, and Nurkic and Allen dunked and turned with neither side able to take control.

The deadlock wasn’t really broken until the final two minutes when the Blazers suddenly got cold and Mitchell got hot, hitting a pair of threes that pulled the Cavs down within two minutes. Lillard’s last-minute layup helped provide a little breathing room, but the walls were closing quickly.

The fourth quarter

The Blazers started the fourth flat with two turnovers and two Grant losses. At that point, Lillard must have felt that if anyone made it through tonight, it would be him. The lady entered this period with 35 points already and was responsible for Portland’s first 11 in the final frame. A sky-high step back three times over the outstretched arms of Isaac Okoro gave Portland a 102-97 lead and Lillard’s 46 points on the night.

But again, Cleveland pulled back and closed out the quarter strong. All it took was some empty possessions, a short walk from the Cavs and before you know it Mitchell was burying three. The unnamed Lillard Blazers were listless, failing to shore up their star in any meaningful way down the stretch.

A careless changeover by Hart that led to Mitchell’s quick break easily with a minute and a half remaining was the nail in the coffin, giving Cleveland a 6-point lead they wouldn’t give up.

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Stay tuned for the extended recap soon!

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The Blazers will get the day off before hosting a doubleheader this weekend against Dallas Mavericks. Tipping Saturday is set to 7 PM Pacific Time.

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