Instant Analysis: Blazers go 5-1 on road trip following drubbing of Cavaliers

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Blazers go 5-1 on road trip following drubbing of Cavaliers originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The Trail Blazers wrapped up their six-game road trip in Cleveland against a Cavaliers team who has been looking to the future. 

Behind Damian Lillard’s 32 points, Portland handed Cleveland its eighth straight loss following a 141-105 blowout victory. With the win, the Blazers improve to 37-29.

Lillard, who was initially listed as probable due to a left foot contusion, broke free in the first quarter with 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from three.

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Lillard’s hot shooting helped give Portland a 29-28 lead at the end of the first quarter.

But the Cavs’ offensive rebounds and efficient shooting helped Cleveland stick around early.

Between Carmelo Anthony, Anfernee Simons Nassir Little, and Enes Kanter, Portlands bench had an efficient first half. The second unit provided the spark to extend Portlands lead.

At the break, Portland held a 67-57 lead.

The Blazers were without Norman Powell due to right knee patellar tendinopathy. Derrick Jones Jr. was inserted into the lineup with Powell out.

For Cleveland, Isaiah Hartenstein (head; concussion) is probable, Matthew Dellavedova (neck), Darius Garland (left ankle), Larry Nance Jr. (right thumb), Taurean Prince (left ankle), Lamar Stevens (head; concussion) and Dylan Windler (left knee) were out.

The Cavs picked up the defensive pressure early in the third quarter; however, the Blazers held a 102-80 heading into the final period.  

For the game, Portland shot 57.6 percent from the field. 

FINAL BOX SCORE: Trail Blazers 141, Cavs 105  

The Good: 

After Damian Lillard got off to a hot start in the first quarter, Carmelo Anthony took over the scoring load in the second. Melo hit contested shot and after contested shot.

Lillard easily found his spots with Cleveland deciding not to double him. The Blazers point guard also found his teammates. Lillard finished with nine assists on the night.

The Blazers changed up their defense in the second quarter to give the Cavaliers a look at a zone. Portland held Cleveland to 29 points in the second quarter.

By halftime, the Blazers bench notched 29 points on 11-for-14 shooting.

At the other end, Jusuf Nurkic led the way. Nurk notched four blocks in the first half and if he wasn’t connecting for the block, he was altering the shot. 

The Bad: 

Cleveland stuck around in the first quarter thanks to its 10-second chance points, while Portland had zero in the first quarter.

Kevin Love and Collin Sexton led the Cavs in scoring, but just as Portlands second unit showed off its efficient shooting, so did Cleveland’s bench.

The Highlight:

Robert Covington has been playing alongside Damian Lillard for 65 games and it shows...

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The Stat: 

Jusuf Nurkic notched his sixth double-double in his last eight games, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three assists and four blocks.

Next up: The Trail Blazers head home to host the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night. The Blazers and Lakers are set to tip-off at 7:00p.m. PT on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.