CLEVELAND — They’ve been tormented by Harden. Punked by Porzingis. Bullied by The Brow.
But, it turns out, a misfortune was nonetheless to come.
With a record-setting opening from Kevin Love and nonetheless another triple-double from LeBron James, a Cleveland Cavaliers provided a biggest complaint of a Portland Trail Blazers‘ routine invulnerability to date, breezing to a 137-125 feat Wednesday night.
“That was as considerable as I’ve seen,” Blazers manager Terry Stotts said.
Indeed. Not usually was a Blazers’ record book etched with a integrate black marks, a NBA record book warranted a new smudge, too.
The Blazers authorised their many points of a season, eclipsing a 127 they authorised to a Golden State Warriors on Nov. 1, and surrendered their many in any law diversion given 1989, when a Denver Nuggets torched them for 146. Along a way, a Cavaliers done 21 three-pointers, a many a Blazers have authorised in a diversion in authorization history.
Much of a repairs came from Love, a Lake Oswego local who put on a sharpened hospital opposite his favorite childhood group in a initial entertain for a ages. Love non-stop a diversion by creation his initial 7 shots — including 6 three-pointers — and finished with 34 first-quarter points and a career-high restraining 8 threes. It was a many first-quarter points in NBA story and 3 bashful of Klay Thompson’s record for any quarter.
Love finished with 40 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists on his ancestral night, creation 12 of 20 shots, including 8 of 12 three-pointers. The Blazers threw all — and clearly everybody — at him, though nothing of it worked as he helped a Cavaliers shelve adult a whopping 46 first-quarter points, tied for the most scored on a Blazers in an opening duration in authorization story with a 1970-71 Atlanta Hawks.
“He strike all he threw up, shot a round unequivocally well,” Mason Plumlee said of Love. “I consider he got a integrate on blown coverages. But he strike some with a palm in his face, too. So (it was a) unequivocally good sharpened night by him.”
By a time Love finally cooled, James exhilarated up, stiff-arming any wish of a Blazers comeback. The 12-time All-Star finished with 31 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, recording his 44th career triple-double and second of a season.
Afterward, as they flew behind to Portland following a humiliating five-game trip, a Blazers were left to digest a oppressive reality: They have a losing record (8-9) and will continue to languish in a center of a container in a Western Conference — or worse — as prolonged as their invulnerability continues to struggle. The list of deficiencies, from messy pick-and-roll coverage to unsure transition invulnerability to bad resilient to nonexistent communication — have been dissected time and again. But things usually seem to be removing worse and stars are beating their chops during a possibility to feast on a Blazers.
Just in a final week, as a Blazers went 1-4 on a forgettable five-game trip, James Harden available a triple-double (26 points, 14 assists, 12 rebounds), Anthony Davis was widespread (38 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 blocks, dual steals), Kristaps Porzingis had a margin day (31 points, 9 rebounds) and Love and James were partial of a record-breaking performance.
As he pondered a prolonged moody behind to Portland and what would devour his erratic mind, Lillard, who finished with 40 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds opposite a Cavaliers, pronounced he would concentration on all his small errors. The time he was partial of a defensive switch on James and fouled him, heading to a three-point play. The time he attempted to box out Love, though failed. The catastrophic navigations around pick-and-rolls. And so on. Lillard figured his teammates would — or during slightest should — do a same.
The Blazers don’t have big-picture problems, he says. Instead, it’s a small things, a details, that need ironing out. He insists a Blazers have able personnel, good schemes and a right brew of heart and passion. Lillard says he and his teammates care.
Outside of his blunt “we kind of siphon right now” criticism progressing in a week, Lillard has been overwhelmingly certain as a Blazers have fought through their malaise. But during some point, formula pronounce a loudest and a Blazers are unfortunate for improved results.
“You wish to see formula right away, though we consider it starts in your mind,” Lillard said. “You’ve got to trust that you’re going to spin it around and that we wish to. But we’ve also got to direct some-more of any other. We take a certain track a lot. We don’t need to be negative, though we need to direct some-more from any other. Maybe that’s a issue; not a coaches, though us, a guys indeed in a trenches. We’ve got to direct some-more of any other.
“We should be meditative about how we can urge and we can move some-more to a group and try to get us going in a right direction. And that’s also a partial of us holding ourselves accountable for the partial of this severe streak.”