Trail Blazers Fall To Magic For The First Time Since 2017

Portland -- The Trail Blazers had won 10 straight meetings against the Magic dating back to 2017, but that streak has come to an end as Portland fell 113-95 to Orlando in front of a crowd of 16,024 at Moda Center on Tuesday night. Between players out with injury, and dust still settling from trades made in recent days, Portland had just nine players in uniform, opening the opportunity for an increased role for some players in Tuesday’s game.Justise Winslow made his first start of the season as a Trail Blazer, scoring the team’s first five points on two nothing-but-net jumpers. Winslow finished the game with 12 points, six rebounds, and three assists to go with two steals and two blocks.

Unfortunately for Portland, the three point lead they took to start the game was the largest it would be all game, as Orlando got off to a hot shooting start connecting on 52.1% of their first-half field goals, including 57.9% from three. In comparison, the Trail Blazers shot just 33.3% from the field in the opening half and were 3 for 18 from three (16.7 %).

Gary Harris’ nine first-quarter points in just four minutes off the bench gave Orlando a four-point lead heading into the second quarter. Four points was the closest Portland would come to taking the lead for the remainder of the game. Though they would cut the Orlando lead to just four in each quarter, Portland ultimately couldn’t get over that four-point hump to retake the lead.

Portland held the edge in paint points in the first half but were outscored 33 to nine from three-point territory resulting in Orlando taking a 15-point lead into halftime. Portland made a 10-2 run in the third to get the game within four points and yet another 10-2 run in the fourth to get within the magic number of four yet again but failed to convert on any go-ahead shots in the remaining minutes. In the end, the three-point shooting disparity reared its head for Portland again, as they shot 28.9% from deep for the game compared to Orlando’s 50%. The Trail Blazers were able to get to the free-throw stripe considerably more than the Magic, converting 20 of their 26 attempts compared to just six of eight for Orlando, but it mattered not as Orlando was able to secure their first victory over Portland in their last 11 attempts.

Cole Anthony was the game’s high scorer with 23 points in 35 minutes of action, while Anfernee Simons was the leading scorer for Portland recording 19 points to go with five assists and five rebounds. Jusuf Nurkic recorded his 27th double-double of the season, a mark that puts him in the top-10 in the league in that category.

Greg Brown III had a huge night recording career-highs in minutes played (19), points (15), rebounds (8), and made threes (2) to go with his signature highlight-reel dunks.

“Greg takes advantage every time. He’s playing with so much energy. Regardless of what’s happening, you can tell he’s gonna give you what he has,” said coach Chauncey Billups of Greg Brown III’s performance following the game.

“It was a blessing to be out there and help my guys… It was a big change for me so I just had to fill in the shoes and go out and do it,” said Brown III of his increased role and the opportunity he had Tuesday and likely moving forward throughout the rest of the season.

Tuesday's game was the first of a back-to-back for the Trail Blazers who will take on the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night at Moda Center. The Lakers are also coming in off of a back-to-back having lost to the Bucks. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.