Midway through the first quarter, the Blazers had opened up a 20-13 lead and the Clippers were squandering every available opportunity. Chris Paul and Caron Butler were having trouble executing and DeAndre Jordan was looking out of sorts on both sides of the ball, including missing a dunk on what should have been an easy tip-in, drawing the foul and then missing both free throws...all in one excruciating sequence of events. Through one half of play, the Clippers look very shaky and currently trail, 54-47.
Immediately following that sequence, however, the Clips suddenly tore off a 10-2 run and were very much back in the thick of things with two minutes left to go in the quarter. Mo Williams drained a bucket with seconds left to take a surprising 26-24 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Clippers were right back in the hot seat as the second quarter opened up, with Portland now going on a 9-2 tear. Nothing went right for the Clippers in the second quarter, as Blake Griffin had just one bucket in five attempts. With under 2:00 left in the half, the Blazers once again stretched their lead back to 11 points, 52-41. Chauncey Billups drained a trey with 0:30 left to cut the lead to 52-45. After a Portland bucket, he drew a foul with 2.2 seconds left and sank both free throws.had three fouls and no points in 11 minutes of play with 6:00 left in the half, while
The Clippers will need to regroup during halftime and play exponentially better in the second half if they hope to pull out a win in this one. Billups and Williams looked great in the first half, but everyone else will need to step up.