Former Blazer and reigning Sixth Man of the Year award winner Jamal Crawford nailed a last-second pull up jumper over Pat Connaughton at Staples Center on Thursday night, as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 109-108. The loss was the first for the Blazers this preseason.
After Losing Early Lead, Portland’s Comeback Falls Short
The Blazers took an early lead in the teams’ first match-up since last year’s emotional playoff series, leading the Clippers by three after the first period. The Clippers came back in the second quarter, outscoring the Blazers by 15 points and finishing the half ahead by double digits. Blazerguard C.J. McCollum got the hot hand in the third, shooting 6-for-9 from the field to keep the Blazers in the game as it entered the fourth period. The Blazers continued their momentum into the final quarter, outscoring the Clippers by ten, but it was not enough to secure the win. With the shot clock winding down, the Clippers called upon perennial clutch shooter Crawford to come up with the winning bucket. Crawford, who did not shoot well for most of the game, going just 3-for-11, finished with seven points.
Jamal. Money. 💰
Jordan Ousted in Final Second
DeAndre Jordan, who finished the game with eight points and nine rebounds, was hit with a technical and ejected when he ran onto the court to celebrate with Crawford when there was still 0.2 seconds remaining on the clock.
Balanced Scoring is Key for the Clippers
As game highlights show, balanced scoring was the key for Clippers in this victory. Ten players scored in the match-up, with four finishing in double digits. Blake Griffin led all scorers, finishing with 26 points, including one made three-pointer, along with five rebounds.
Blake. Triple. 🔥 Griffin's up to 26 💪
Chris Paul impressed with a double-double, logging ten points, ten assists, and three steals. Marreese Speights and Brandon Bass also had solid offensive performances. Speights finished the game with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Bass added 16 points and six rebounds.
J.J. Redick, whose shooting has been off during this exhibition season, showed some improvement, going 3-for-6 from the field and finishing with eight points. New Clipper Alan Anderson also finished with eight points, and Luc Mbah a Moute, starting at small forward for the second time this preseason, added six points in 25 minutes.
Austin Rivers did not play, reportedly suffering from groin soreness.
Silver Lining for the Blazers
Despite the loss, there was good news for Blazers fans. McCollum broke out of his preseason shooting slump, finishing with 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Star point guard Damian Lillard added 19 points and five assists.
The Clippers’ next game is Monday night, when they’ll be on the road against the Utah Jazz.