L.A. Clippers At Portland
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Saturday, April 23, 2016
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon
The Los Angeles Clippers appear to be firmly in control of the series as it shifts to Portland for Game 3 on Saturday. The fourth-seeded Clippers rolled past the fifth-seeded Trail Blazers by an average of 20.5 points in the first two games at home and were consistently able to put their foot on the gas in the second half and close out each game strong.
Portland was within six points early in the fourth quarter in Game 2 and feels like it improved from game to game. “Game 1 we were in the game and then they had a stretch where they got on a run, we couldn't score the ball, and we just couldn't close that gap for the rest of the game,” Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard told reporters. “(Game 2) we took it a step further and the game was closer for a little bit longer than it was last game, and then the same thing happened. We went cold and they started to knock down shots.” The Clippers aren’t taking anything for granted and are hoping to close the series out quickly. “The one thing, I don't think I've ever won a series that wasn't a Game 7, so that's kind of the next step is closing out a series,” forward Blake Griffin told reporters.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), KGW (Portland)
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS: Los Angeles leaned on its bench in Game 2 and was rewarded with 43 points from the reserves. “One thing about our bench, what they've been doing in this series is that if we come out of the game up six, when we go back in the game, we may be up 10 or up 12,” star point guard Chris Paul told reporters. “We just need those guys to keep playing with that confidence, and that's why we're a team.” Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford led the bench with 11 points in Game 2 and all five reserves to log at least 12 minutes were plus-15 or better.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS: Portland could use more from its bench as well but really needs to get more out of Lillard and C.J. McCollum in the starting backcourt. Lillard is 13-of-39 from the field in the series while McCollum is 9-of-28, but the two aren’t lacking confidence. “Tonight I just didn’t make those shots,” Lillard told reporters after Game 2. “Our coaching staff did a great job of watching film and putting myself and C.J. in different positions to where they couldn’t really take a lot away from us. I just got to make the shots. I think that’s what it comes down to. There are really no excuses. … The ball just didn’t go in.”
1. The Trail Blazers are 15-of-56 from 3-point range in the series.
2. Los Angeles C DeAndre Jordan is averaging 15 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in the series.
3. Portland C Mason Plumlee recorded 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in Game 2 after managing four points, five boards and no assists in Game 1.
PREDICTION: Clippers 106, Trail Blazers 101
Stats and Records
Portland Off vs
L.A. Clippers Def
104.7 Points For
99.9 Points Against