Sporting the NBA’s fourth highest scoring offense, the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Portland Trailblazers Thursday night at the Rose Garden.
Power forward Blake Griffin is slowly building a reputation as one of the tougher players in the league, playing through a burst bursa sac in his right elbow and a neck strain in the Clippers surprising 106-84 blowout win over the San Antonio Spurs.
Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan combined for 42 points and 21 rebounds as Los Angeles blew the game open with a 35-21 third quarter, and turned the game into a dunk contest.
The team rose to the occasion after losing back-to-back games to lottery teams, and point guard Chris Paul taking the brunt of the blame. Paul responded with 10 points and 12 assists against the Spurs, and the Clippers crashed the boards for a 46-29 advantage.
Los Angeles’ defense also put on a stellar performance, forcing 20 turnovers that led to 21 points, and holding Tony Parker to four points and Tim Duncan to just 10.
With the Clippers firing on all cylinders, Portland could be in for another long night after falling to the Dallas Mavericks 114-91.
The Blazers struggled from the floor, shooting less than 39 percent, and couldn’t contain Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo, who nailed six 3-pointers en route to 32 points.
Portland kept the game close in the first three quarters, but the Mavericks went on a 29-8 surge in the final 10 minutes.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews each scored 20 points to lead the Blazers, but rookie point guard Damian Lillard faltered for the first time, picking up two quick fouls. He’d end the game with 13 points and five assists.
It was the tail-end of a three-game road trip for Portland in which they went 1-2 and shot just 38.9 percent from field.
Coverage begins at 10:30 p.m. EDT on TNT, or you can watch their live stream online TNT Overtime here, but submitting your cable provider information.
Betting Odds: Los Angeles is favored by 1 point.
Over/Under: 201 points
Prediction: Jordan and Griffin will be a tough matchup for the Blazers to handle, and Lillard may struggle in his first test against Paul, but Aldridge and the Portland crowd will push the Blazers to a victory.
Predicted Score: Trailblazers 104, Clippers 101