Trail Blazers vs Warriors Wednesday, 04/17/13 AT 07:00PM

Clippers Roll Past Trail Blazers As Lillard Sets Franchise Threes Record

04/16/13
  1. Written by: erikgundersen  / avg. rating: 5.0

    BY ERIK GUNDERSEN

    The Los Angeles Clippers (55-26) rode a 26-13 second quarter to coast to a 93-77 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers (33-48). Will Barton led the Trail Blazers with a team-high 17 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Caron Butler led the Clippers with 22 points. LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews both missed today's game, as did Nicolas Batum who is done for the rest of the season.

    "We came out, first quarter was good, but it was difficult to score against them then and come back. I thought our guys played hard and we just didn't have enough," said Terry Stotts

    Coming into tonight's game, the Clippers goals of trying to catch the Denver Nuggets to get the third seed in the Western Conference were widely known. The Trail Blazers have struggled mightily as of late and appeared to present an easy opposition but that was not the case in the early going. Behind seven points from Will Barton in the first quarter, the Trail Blazers managed to hang tough. Barton has been aggressive but not always efficient and he was able to combine both well tonight, going eight-for-14 from the the field to finish with 17 points as well as six rebounds, five assists, three steals as well a six turnovers.

    For the second straight game when facing an opponent who plays at a fast pace and loves getting out in transition, the Trail Blazers struggled to take care of the ball, especially in the first quarter where they had five. They managed things on the turnover front for the rest of the game fairly well, but the Clippers were able to shut off lanes down the middle for Damian Lillard and succeeded in, as the Clippers and good defenses always try to do, forcing Portland's pick and rolls to the side.

    However, despite the fact that Lillard couldn't find ways to get to the rack and wasn't getting much sympathy from the officials on the drive that he did make, The Rookie found a way to make history anyway. In the second quarter, Dame hit his 182nd three of the season, breaking Damon Stoudemire's previous franchise record of 181 for a season. Dame hit another in the second half and despite the fact he went four-of-12 (12 points, eight assists) on the night, he left the night with both the record for three-pointers made in a season by a rookie in NBA history and the most threes in franchise history.  

    The Clippers held a 17-point lead at halftime and they kept adding to their lead once they started hitting their three-point shots. Caron Butler seemed like he was hitting everything, going four of seven from deep and scoring 22 points. Meanwhile, the Clippers were getting out in transition with Blake Griffin (16 points, six assists) and DeAndre Jordan throwing down massive dunks.

    One of the bright spots on the night was the solid and aggressive play by Joel Freeland off the bench. In 28 minutes, he had a career-high 13 points to go along with six rebounds.

    The Trail Blazers close the regular season tomorrow night against the Golden State Warriors on Fan Appreciation Night at the Rose Garden. Tip-off will be at 7PM and will be shown on KGW.  It can also be heard on 1190 AM and 102.3 FM.

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