Final Dime: Blazers 111, Cavaliers 70
Daniel Gibson finished with 12 points on Thursday night in Portland.
The playoff-bound Blazers meant business right from the opening tip – running out to an eye-popping 24-2 start and never looking back, handing the Wine and Gold a 111-70 drubbing on Thursday night at the Rose Garden.
Aside from a 12-3 run in the fourth quarter, the highlights for Cleveland were few and far between. The Cavaliers trailed by 25 after one quarter and by 44 after three. They totaled just two field goals in the opening period and had just a single assist in the entire first half.
The Blazers, on the other hand, shot 54 percent from the floor, outrebounded Cleveland by 16 boards and handed out a total of 29 assists to the Cavaliers’ six.
About the only area in which Cleveland had the upper hand was from the stripe, where the Cavaliers attempted 30 free throws to the Blazers’ 13 – canning 25.
“Our team is just so soft mentally, it’s unbelievable,” lamented Coach Byron Scott. “I think (Wednesday) night, winning that game, we forget that we have to come in here and play a team that’s much better. This team we played tonight is fighting for something, and they came out and they played like it.”
Ramon Sessions led the Cavaliers with 14 points, going 4-for-8 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the line. Daniel Gibson followed up with 12 points, netting seven of those at the stripe as well.
The only other Cavalier in double-figures was Manny Harris, who scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland actually outscored Portland, 25-22, in that final period. Unfortunately, the Wine and Gold managed just 11 points in the first quarter and 12 more in the third.
Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace combined for 37 points – going 17-for-24 from the floor.
The Cavaliers close out their West Coast trip – and the Western Conference portion of the 2010-11 season – on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Los Angeles to face Blake Griffin and the Clippers.
2. After missing the previous three games following the death of his grandmother in L.A., Baron Davis rejoined the Cavs in Portland. Baron came off the bench to notch three points in 14 minutes before leaving in the third quarter with back spasms.
“I just wanted to be with my teammates,” explained Davis. “I wanted them to know that I’m watching them. (I’m) just trying to get back in the gym and get back around the game. That’s always been my cure, ever since I was a kid.”
3. Not including Thursday’s blowout, the Cavaliers came in with the third-best record on St. Patrick’s Day since 1954-55 at 14-7. The NBA’s best team on St. Patrick’s Day? At 22-10, it’s the Boston Celtics, of course.
4. The Celtics also have the league’s best mark against the Blazers since 2007-08 at 7-1. But even including Thursday’s drubbing, the Cavs are second at 6-2.
5. Former Louisville standout, Samardo Samuels, took some major ribbing – even from his head coach – before Thursday night’s matchup in Portland. Samuels’ 4th-seeded Cardinals were upset earlier in the day by Morehead State. When Coach Scott walked into the locker room and saw a smiling Samuels, he joked: “What the hell are you smiling about? Your team just lost to Morehouse State!”
Samuels asked where Scott’s team, Arizona State, was in the tournament. Scott replied: “At home. Same as yours.”
6. Cavaliers assistant Joe Prunty made his return to the Rose Garden after spending the previous three seasons on Nate McMillan’s staff in Portland.
7. The Blazers swept the Cavalier for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
8. Over the past dozen games – since February 11 – the Cavs are second in the NBA from beyond the arc at .396. Cleveland didn’t help itself on Thursday, however, going 3-for-15 from long-distance.
9. A woman at the Rose Garden had the sign of the night, which read: “Hey, Cleveland: We made LeBron cry!” That’s partially inaccurate, since Miami’s “CryGate” took place after a loss to the Bulls. But the support is still appreciated.
10. Antawn Jamison, who underwent finger surgery two weeks ago, is with the Wine and Gold on their final West Coast trip. Jamison – who’d never broken a bone in his body before – talked pregame about the injury.
“I’m just trying to get some range of motion, things like that,” said Jamison. “(It’s been) by far one of the most difficult injuries I’ve had. You know, I’ve had bone spurs removed from my ankles and knees scoped, but this one right here has definitely limited me the last two weeks. But it’s a lot better.”
Joe Gabriele is the official beat writer for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Cavs.com. You can follow Joe and send him your questions on Twitter at @CavsJoeG.