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Results for Trail Blazers Vs. Nets, takeaways: Portland clinches 8-seed with another big night by Damian Lillard



After months of planning and two weeks of planting games inside the NBA bubble at Disney World, it all came down to the Portland Trail Blazers game with the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. And after an outstanding game back and forth, the Blazers reached a point in the play-off series with a 134-133 victory. Portland will now face Memphis, and the Grizzlies will have to beat the Blazers twice to advance to the first round to take on the Lakers.

The situation was very simple. Win, and the Blazers advance in play, lose and the Sun would have been introduced. Damian Lillard, after everything he had done in the bubble, was not letting the latter happen. He finished with 42 points and 1

2 assists for his fourth night with 40 points in seed games.

It was another extraordinary show by Lillard, but Caris LeVert almost broke the Blazers hearts. The new Brooklyn defender was stellar in his own right, going for 37 points, six rebounds and nine assists, but his potential winner of the game managed to hit from behind – saving Portland and ending the Phoenix season .

Here are some key obstacles from the game:

Blazers win, they are inside

The seed games end on Friday, but Thursday was the really significant last day, as the four teams that fought for two points in the Western Conference were all in action. At first, the Phoenix Suns beat the Dallas Mavericks to finish 8-0 in the bubble, but they still needed help. They got nothing from the Milwaukee Bucks as the Memphis Grizzlies traversed a smaller Giannis Antetokounmpo squad to collect a spot in the play-off series.

With victories from the Sun and the Grizzlies, the San Antonio Spurs were eliminated before they could take trial, ending their magnificent 22-year-old confession. And so, getting into the last game of the night, the situation that started out quite complicated at the beginning of the day became very clear.

It was a win or I went home for the Blazers, and they got the job – barely, but they got it. Even more important than just making the game, the Blazers threw the Grizzlies away for seed no.8 in the process. It’s great because it means the Blazers only have to win once to overcome the play-off path, while the Grizzlies will now have to beat them twice in a row.

Dame does it again

They have not announced Kia NBA Player of the Seed Games – the corporate brand in awards is so delightful – however, but there is no doubt it will be Damian Lillard. Man has been an absolute force of nature over the past few weeks, with the Blazers eager to play the game by themselves.

Thursday night was no different. The Blazers intended to pull the ball out of his hands, blocking it early in the first quarter when he came out of spins, and would go so far as to double it in midfield by the fourth quarter. And it just didn’t matter. Obviously there was stretch where he was silent, but when he turned it on there was nothing the Networks could do.

He finished with 42 points and 12 assists, in 13-for-22 from the field, and 8-for-14 from the ground with 3 points, which is an incredible game in any situation, let alone a eliminatory game where you are facing teams continuous doubles. Overall, he was responsible for 69 of the Blazers’ 134 points – more than half of them.

On a night like this, there are so many things you can single out, but nothing was more impressive than his 3-point shot. He hit some ridiculous kicks from the corner, and at one point in the early fourth quarter pulled with his heels to the NBA logo in the middle. It was just an incredible show.

Blazers dominate at second chance points

Lillard was definitely the main story in this game, as there is no chance the Blazers will even come close to winning without him. However, in Orlando there were other things going on downstairs and one of the biggest was the Blazers dominance in terms of second chance points.

Networks went into bubble missing a number of key players, and one of the biggest challenges for the group that landed in Orlando was the lack of size; Jarrett Allen was the only healthy player over 6-foot-9. While playing so small was an incentive for offending them, it also made them vulnerable to the glass – especially at the defensive end, where Allen’s pen to chase blocks often leaves him out of the jumping position.

Portland exploited that weakness in a major way, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds. Most importantly, they turned to those extra opportunities, scoring 29 big second chance points, which was not just a high season, but the second chance points they had in a game since 2014. When you allow a team to shoot 55 percent of the field as the Blazers did, you have to find a way to keep pace, and the Blazers did it in the glass.




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