The Trail Blazers suffered their second defeat in three matches as Tottenham claimed a 125-104 victory on Monday. Spurs on the bench scored 59 points in the victory, leaving the Blazers in the dust. Damian Lillard, who scored 36 minutes in a 21-point loss, scored 35 points and surpassed Kobe Bryant in the three-point list in the NBA.
Here’s a second look at Tottenham’s victory over the Blazers.
Rodney Hood, who took over from CJ McCollum in the starting line-up, started the match with fire. The former Duke star scored himself or was a part of the Blazers’ first 10 points. He was comfortable with the ball and kept his head high, looking for his teammates. Along with Hood, Lillard and Enes Kanter found repeated success in the capture business. Spurs didn’t make a goal to get the ball out of Lillard’s hands and completely set LaMarcus Aldridge on fire in a duo with Kanter.
Tottenham quickly rebounded when Patty Mills entered the match. The rogue reserve guard was shot with a cannon from the bench. The former Blazers goalkeeper gave fast points and was annoying on the defensive end. Supported by their energetic second unit, Tottenham finished the first frame 32-28 behind.
Inverney Simmons, who entered the match after Lillard made his second mistake late in the first quarter, started the second quarter with three pointers cutting Tottenham’s lead to one point. Tottenham’s backcourt blocked the ball with constant movement in and out of the ball. Mills, who scored five at the start, scored another eight in the second frame. In the front yard, Aldrdige was communicating from all his favorite spots. By working in the pick-and-pop business, Aldridge demonstrated his mid-term effectiveness from the second quarter. For the Blazers, Harry Giles and Carmelo Anthony were active in the offensive end. Giles had a breakneck offensive rebound early in the quarter that was quickly converted into a Milo Triple Pointer.
Despite a strong late-quarter increase from the Blazers, which led to Portland’s 9-0 lead, Spurs’ hot shots from outside the arc kept them ahead. Feeding seven three-pointers in just 13 attempts in the first two quarters, Spurs headed into the locker room with a 59-54 advantage.
The first half of free flow was postponed by both teams in the third quarter. The Spurs defense was tightened underneath and the Blazers did a better job of rotating on the surrounding shooters. Portland’s defensive effort was improved with the help of a small ball lineup that was used after Canter headed to the bench after four minutes of pressing the clock in the third quarter. Derek Jones Jr. was the biggest benefactor of the Blazers transformation. The former Hit striker scored points in the second half and the defenders burst into the defensive side. Less than three minutes before the end, the Blazers temporarily regained the lead by an 80-78 lead.
In the final moments, Tottenham pressed together in a series of pauses and aggressively attacking, ending the quarter with a 87-82 lead.
Tottenham, struggling from a distance in the third quarter, could not miss a hat-trick in the fourth quarter. Supported by three shots from Mills and Rudi Jay, Tottenham achieved 8-0 in the first 90 seconds of play. After a quick delay, Hood and Simons did their best to raise Portland’s level with outside shots of their own. From there, the steady stream of Spurs proved to be too much for the Blazers. Trailing at 118-101 less than four minutes before the end, coach Terry Stott switched to the bench as Tottenham scored a 21-point victory.
Big Hood Day
Hood, who scored 18 overall points in Monday’s competition, scored 21 against Tottenham. For the first time since his Achilles tendon injury, he was patient and confident in his crime. With the ball in his hand, Hood easily dribbled past his points and established himself against smaller opponents. Inside the bow, he seemed to be unstoppable with a faint jumping shot.
The Blazers have a lot to worry about with Joseph Norkitch and McCollum out of the squad. But Hood’s ability to generate points in the starting lineup may not be among the problems on that list.
Three points of defense
The Blazers had no answer for Tottenham’s ocean attack. San Antonio produced undisputed shots with simple screens and assisting passes. Portland’s problems were very much on display when Unit 2 was on the ground. Off the bench, Mills and Jay made 10-15 three-pointers. The Blazers’ entire roster consisted of 10 three-pointers on Monday. In terms of scoring in the second unit, Tottenham’s bench escaped with this score to 34 points.
Blazers’ fights aren’t just confined to the ocean. In the front yard, Lamarcus Aldridge and Jacob Boltel looked like the stars. Aldridge enjoyed a mid-range look and Welltel wiped out Portlanders at both ends of the Earth. Tottenham hit 53.3 percent of the field and won by 14 panels.
The Blazers will return to matches on Wednesday to face the Grizzlies.