Trail Blazers Trip Clippers for 13th Straight Victory
Portland matches second-longest win streak in franchise history
LOS ANGELES – Portland’s lights out shooting in the fourth quarter put away the L.A. Clippers and put consecutive win number 13 in the books as the Trail Blazers won, 122-109, at STAPLES Center on Sunday night. Portland shot 12-for-18 from the field (4-5 3-PT) in the final period, while outrebounding Los Angeles, 14-2.
"You saw how balanced it was. We got great efforts from a lot of guys," said Damian Lillard. "We continued the ball movement, and guys really came with it."
All five Blazers starters scored in double figures in another even scoring effort. Lillard (6-13 FG) led the way with 23 points, followed by 21 from CJ McCollum (9-17 FG) and Maurice Harkless (8-11 FG), 17 by Jusuf Nurkic (8-18 FG) and another 16 from Al-Farouq Aminu (6-12 FG). Portland’s starters outscored their Clippers counterparts, 98-44.
"That's what teams do. Not everybody's going to have a night every night," said Head Coach Terry Stotts. "We've had different guys off the bench have an impact, we've counted on our starters. That's what good teams do. Different guys have the ability to make plays."
The Trail Blazers have equaled the second-longest win streak in team history. Portland last won 13 straight games in December 2007. In the 13th and final win during that streak on Dec. 30, 2007, Brandon Roy led Portland to victory with 22 points over Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller and the Philadelphia 76ers. Only Portland’s 16-game run in 1991 remains longer than the current streak.
"You get ready for the next game. You don't want to get comfortable. I think that's been one of our strengths as a team, coaches and players," added Coach Stotts. "We understand what time of year it is, and what has to be done. And that's been the priority."
Portland’s 13 games in a row also represent the longest active streak in the NBA. Eight of those 13 wins have come against above .500 teams. The Trail Blazers improve to 44-26 overall this season and 19-15 on the road after winning each of their last five games away from home.
"They came back, they cut it to four or something like that, but we were able to pull away again. We didn't fold," Harkless said. "That's been the theme of this winning streak in my opinion. Every time a team tries to go on a run, we always bounce back."
The Trail Blazers have taken a 2-1 advantage in the season series against the Clippers with Sunday's win. The final meeting between the teams is set for March 30 in Portland.
With Oklahoma City’s win in Toronto earlier on Sunday, Portland remains two games in front of the Thunder for the Northwest Division lead and the third spot in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City has won six straight contests.
Head Coach Terry Stotts earned his 267th win with the Trail Blazers Sunday night, passing Nate McMillan for third place among Portland’s coaching leaders. In his sixth season with Portland, Stotts trails only Dr. Jack Ramsay (453) and Rick Adelman (291) on the team’s all-time wins list.
With the win over the Clippers, Stotts also pushes his overall NBA coaching record above .500 at 382-381, including stints with Atlanta and Milwaukee. His record with the Trail Blazers stands at 267-213 (.556).
• Lillard recorded his 15th straight game of 20+ points, matching the longest such streak of his career (Feb. 4-March 8, 2016).
• Harkless notched 20+ points for the second time this season. He has scored in double figures in three straight games for the first time this year. He shared the team lead with 14 points in the first half on 6-for-9 FG (2-3 3-PT).
• Aminu scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter on 4-for-5 field goal shooting (2-2 3-PT).
• The two leading scorers for the Clippers came off the bench, as Lou Williams led all players with 30 points (11-24 FG) and Montrezl Harrell added 24 points (9-14 FG) in 20 minutes.
• The Trail Blazers have now won two straight games against the Clippers after having lost seven straight games in the series before that.
• With his first field goal, Lillard passed Sidney Wicks for 10th place on Portland’s franchise list for field goals made (3,508).
• Jusuf Nurkic recorded his 40th career double-double, with 19 coming this season. He also tied a season best with four blocked shots - all in the fourth quarter.
• Al-Farouq Aminu’s six assists matched a career high and set his new high as a Trail Blazer.
• Shabazz Napier’s eight assists marked his most as a Trail Blazer, one shy of a career high. Napier made all four of his field goal attempts in the first half for nine points.
"We're leaning on each other. We're trusting each other. And that's been the key." - Maurice Harkless
Portland puts its 13-game winning streak to the test against the team with the best record in the NBA – the Houston Rockets (56-14) – Tuesday night at Moda Center. The 7:30 p.m. tipoff can be viewed nationally on TNT and heard on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio.