Notebook: Trail Blazers 89, 76ers 85



Posted Dec 30, 2012 2:12 AM

By Stephen Alexander, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Trail Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 89-85 Saturday night. The Blazers (15-14) went into the fourth quarter with a 70-67 lead, but then went on a 7-0 run that proved to put the 76ers (14-17) away and the game out of reach.

Nicolas Batum led Portland with 22 points and rookie Damian Lillard had 20. Jrue Holiday paced the 76ers with 29 points.

QUOTABLE: "We struggled to score [in the fourth quarter]. We haven't been a team that's come back in the fourth quarter yet this year. We've won one game when we were behind after three [quarters], and I don't think we've lost when we're ahead. We're a team that doesn't get points that easy."

--76ers coach Doug Collins on Philadelphia's late game struggles

THE STAT: Blazers center J.J. Hickson recorded his 18th double-double of the season (16 points, 13 rebounds). He is now tied with Dwight Howard for the third most double-doubles in the NBA this season.

TURNING POINT: A 7-0 run by Portland to begin the fourth quarter sealed it.

QUOTABLE II: "Philly does a nice job of dictating their tempo. It's hard to get out and run. We tried to with our rebounding and transition, but we can only dictate half the possessions of the game."

--Blazers coach Terry Stotts on the slow paced game

HOT: Starting at shooting guard in place of the injured Wesley Matthews (hip), Victor Claver scored a career high eight points. Seven of those points came in the first quarter, which helped Portland get off to a fast start.

NOT: The Blazers bench. Portland only got seven points from the four reserves who saw action Saturday: four points from Meyers Leonard, two points from Luke Babbitt and one point from Ronnie Price.

GOOD MOVE: After watching Holiday torch them for 27 points through three quarters, the Blazers asked forward Batum to guard him. Batum shut Holiday down in the final period, holding him to just two points.

BAD MOVE: Philadelphia guard Jason Richardson has been struggling with a sore back and was questionable for the 76ers at game time. Richardson may have come back too soon. In 21:58, Richardson went 2-for-5 from the field and scored just five points and recorded one assist.

NOTABLE: With 9:01 remaining in the game the Blazers' Leonard went up for a rebound and the Blazers No. 11 draft pick came down hard on his right leg. The video replay appeared to show Leonard's leg locking and bending backward. After the game, Leonard's X-rays came back negative. Portland has a history of watching the careers of promising young centers -- Bill Walton, Sam Bowie, Greg Oden -- end prematurely because of injury. Leonard had to be assisted off the court and into the locker room by Blazer medical personnel. The 7-foot-1, 251-pounder was unable to put any pressure on his leg. Leonard saw 16 minutes of action Saturday and scored four point.

UP NEXT: For the 76ers, Tuesday @ L.A. Lakers, Wednesday @ Phoenix, Friday @ Oklahoma City. For the Trail Blazers, Tuesday @ New York, Wednesday @ Toronto, Friday @ Memphis.