Poor shooting dooms Portland in loss to Pacers 92-75

The downslope continues and any hope for a positive record off this road trip is tainted, the Portland Trail Blazers (20-22) had two days to prepare to face the uprising Indiana Pacers (24-16) who are on pace for their first winning season since 2004. The Pacers are finding success with tough defense with balanced scoring from guys like Danny Granger, David West, Paul George and George Hill. The Pacers would be in the discussion of Eastern Conference but Miami, Chicago, Orlando and New York are hogging up the attention. Portland looked to catch a break when both Granger and George were forced to sit early with foul trouble, but could only manage two field goals in the first quarter and never threaten the Pacers and fall further into the standings with a 92-75 loss, resulting in a 1-3 road trip record.

Would you believe that the Blazers would only be down 19-15 after twelve minutes and only manage two field goals? Really? Consider also that after Indiana also started the game 0-4 from the floor, the Blazers got lucky when Granger and George committed some silly fouls and sat out just six minutes into the game. Marcus Camby showed some high energy right from the start although nothing was going in, until Camby had his right shoulder pushed back after attempting to reach a rebound and had to leave the game.

Nicolas Batum scored Portland’s first field goal but it was like the lid was closed. Without Camby lurking in the paint, Indiana took advantage, like their bench play was simply out playing Portland. Remember Louis Amundson? The guy goes nuts inside, outside and got much love from the Indiana crowd. Meanwhile, the Pacers took a 48-38 lead at halftime even after LaMarcus Aldridge led a quick 10-4 run.

Portland then came out sloppy, slow and succumbed to a 20-point hole with no answers and directions on what to do. The Pacers won comfortably and the Blazers head to New York for a back-to-back.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a team high 17 Pts, 5 Reb for 5-15 shooting and was “meh”, the only other Blazer in double figures was Nolan Smith with 10 Pts, 2-2 from three and 3-3 from the field. Go figure.

Some numbers that will probably make you cringe:

  • Points in the paint: Indiana 50; Portland 16
  • Fast break points: Indiana 19; Portland 3
  • Shooting percentage: Indiana 48%; Portland 32%
  • Free throws: Indiana 8-15; Portland 30-38 (Yay!)
  • Rebounds: Indiana 50; Portland 38
  • Assists: Indiana 24; Portland 5
  • Steals: Indiana 11; Portland 5

Ouch. It might be the last time we see this group before the trade deadline, as Portland fly straight into New York to face the Linsanity and the Knicks.

photos courtesy of oregonlive.com/blazers