The Portland Trail Blazers didn’t have any problems against the Washington Wizards as they defeated the guests from DC. Portland was better 125-104, keeping their playoff prospects alive, although not so shiny.
The Blazers’ final hit came in the fourth period, once they made a 10-0 run, which sealed the win. Up until that point, the Wizards kept coming after them, despite being in a solid deficit.
“We had to stay with it, they are a team who doesn’t quit,” said Carmelo Anthony after the game.” In the last couple of games, they have been down big, but came back. So they are a team with a lot of fire who doesn’t quit.”
Melo had a team-high 25 points and was running the offense for the Blazers tonight. In 32 minutes of play, he made eight hits from the field, posted five boards and two steals. Also, the veteran forward made all his six free-throw attempts.
The Blazers had four players with 22 or more points. Damian Lillard was back following his groin injury and immediately dropped 22 points, with five assists. Lillard had four threes, and overall, there was an impression that he didn’t want to force anything, but decided to find his rhythm slowly.
“Dame looked sometimes as little rusty, but his shot looked good,” explained Blazers’ head coach Terry Stotts at the press conference. “The game looked pretty easy for him.”
Besides these two guys the hosts had CJ McCollum with the same number of buckets as Lillard, 22, and Hassan Whiteside. Portland’s center scored 24 points, shooting 10-for-14 from the field, and added 16 boards with four blocks. He would once again prove that there aren’t too many better players at the center position than him right now.
As for the Wizards, they allowed a 24-point deficit midway through the third but managed to cut down that distance to 11 points in the last period. There was no juice left in them for some sort of surprise.
Bradley Beal had just 29 points. We say just, because Wizards’ sharpshooter averaged 40 in the last eight road matches. However, he had a lot to say about the officials and their criteria. Beal had six free throws in this contest, which is lower than he usually does.
“I just feel like it’s impossible to be vertical the whole game. I average 8-10 FTs a night,” he said. “That’s not by accident. It’s because I’m smart and intelligent in drawing fouls.”
Davis Bertans did his role of a sixth man very good, with 21 points, Unlike previous nights he was also contributing for two, not just three, but he did manage to sink four downtown shots.
Washington is 22-39, and is going back home following a four-game trip throughout the Western Conference. This was their third loss, with one win, against the sorry Golden State Warriors, Up next, Scott Brooks’ team has four of their next five games at home meeting the Hawks, Heat, and Knicks over the upcoming six days, all at the Capital One Arena.
In the meantime, the Blazers (28-35) continue their ferocious fight for the playoffs. The Grizzlies are still 2.5 games ahead. However, that might change, due to Portland’s schedule. After visiting Phoenix on Friday, Dame, Melo, and the rest of the team have six straight games at home, one of them against Memphis. So if they come out form this stretch with a positive record, we might see them capturing that eighth place.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.