Another Trip Ends With A Loss, This Time In Brooklyn

BROOKLYN -- After ending a four-game losing streak with a win versus the New York Knicks Friday night, the Trail Blazers finished up a four-game road trip with a 111-97 loss to Brooklyn Nets Sunday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 17,732 Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center.

“You’ve got to give Brooklyn some credit, they were very physical, they tightened up the screws defensively in that fourth quarter and I just alway believe the most aggressive team will always have favor,” said Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups. “And they got very aggressive and we didn’t.”

Portland is now 11-9 overall and 7-5 on the road this season. With the loss, they return home having gone 1-3 on a four-game trip.

“Obviously you at least want to split on a road trip that was as tough as this one was,” said Anfernee Simons. “I think we’ve just got to keep moving forward and look forward to the next games against the Clippers, Lakers, Utah.”

Though Portland had a difficult time slowing Brooklyn’s offense Sunday afternoon -- the Nets shot 53 percent from the field and 43 percent from three -- they still manage to remain close foe the first three quarters. The lead changed 16 times and the game was tied six times through the first 36 minutes of play, with neither team going up by more than seven.

But the bottom fell out for the Trail Blazers in the fourth. After shooting 48 percent from the field and 38 percent from three through the first three quarters, Portland scored just 17 points on 32 percent shooting in the fourth. Meanwhile, the Nets just kept plugging along, with Seth Curry going 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-5 from three for 13 points in the quarter, just four fewer than Portland had as a team.

“Seth had a game,” said Billups. “We’ve all seen him do it several times before but he really ie. He got going, they felt comfortable, they kept throwing it to him, A lot of times we didn’t communicate on defense and all of the sudden he finds himself open.”

And with Portland struggling mightily to score, Curry’s accuracy was more than enough to send the Trail Blazers home with a loss, the second time they had fallen to the Nets in as many weeks.

“It was a tough one for us. We let a lot of their shooters and hot players get a lot of open shots,” said Jerami Grant. “We could have did a lot better but sometimes road trips are like that. It’s hard to win in the league. Just got to go home, get a win and start putting something together.”

Grant, after posting a career-high of 44 points in Friday’s victory versus the Knicks once again led the way against the other New York outfit, going 11-of-24 from the field and 5-of-10 from three for 29 points to go with five assists and four rebounds in 40 minutes.

Jusuf Nurkic shot 50 percent from the field and 5-of-8 from the free throw line for 17 points while also grabbing 14 rebounds in 33 minutes. Justise Winslow contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Simons added 15 points and six assists in nearly 40 minutes.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 31 points, though Curry wasn’t far behind with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field and 7-of-10 shooting from three in just 28 minutes.

Next up, Portland returns home for one game versus the L.A. Clippers Tuesday night at Moda Center before heading to Los Angeles to face the Lakers in the second game of a back-to-back the next evening. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.