A slow start and poor defensive coverage was too much for the Trailblazers to recover from despite a fourth-quarter turnover and dash flurry, as they feel to the Orlando Magic 107-104, in the Rose Garden on Wednesday night, dropping Portland to 7-3 on the season.
BOXSCORE | Q’s POST GAME RECAP
Orlando 107, Portland 104
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Where: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Officials: #48 Scott Foster, # Karl Lane, #53 Mark Lindsay
It was Portland’s first home loss of the season, and one that pointed out a variety of potential problems.
1. LaMarcus Aldridge and the final minutes
Aldridge blew up late in the fourth, helping to take it to the Magic and make them sweat a little coming down the stretch. He finished the game 10-17 for 23 points with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
His late-game defense on Howard was timely and nearly helped save the game for Portland.
Portland did win the turnover battle, forcing 18 and committing only 7. That was a large part of the narrow margin and much better than the teams 13 TOP average.
1. Back-to-back games
It’s beginning to look as if the Blazers do not perform as well on the second night of back-to-backs or when the schedule fatigues them. Could it be because of a short rotation or their energy-intensive style?
2. Defending the 3-point shot
It took Orlando just over a quarter to make more threes than any other Portland opponent this season.
Six different Magic players connected from beyond the arc , as Orlando shot better from downtown (16-for-27 for 59.3 percent) than they did on two-point attempts (25-for-43 for 58.1 percent).
While a loss to the NBA‘s No. 2 team in 3-pointers is disappointing, it wasn’t all that surprising either.
Now Portland will have to prove they can win on the road as they embark on a six-game road trip starting in San Antonio on Friday.