Poor shooting, foul trouble, and a heaping helping of Nicolas Batum doomed the Los Angeles Clippers in the first half on Thursday night at the Rose Garden, as the Portland Trail Blazers took a 43-32 lead into halftime in their nationally televised contest on TNT.
Batum scored 15 of his 17 points in the first quarter to lead the Blazers, who shot 45.9% (17 for 37) in the first half, including four of 10 from three-point range. Batum made seven of his 10 field goals and a pair of three-pointers.
Blake Griffin had a double-double for the Clippers in the first half with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Griffin made six of 10 from the field, but his teammates made just nine of 35 shots (25.7%), including missing all seven three-point shots. Neither point guard scored in the first half, as Chris Paul (three rebounds, one assist) and Raymond Felton (two rebounds, one assist) each had zero points.
The Clippers had 12 fouls called against them in the first half, compared to four against Portland. Both Caron Butler and DeAndre Jordan have three fouls each, and Griffin has two.
The Clippers scored just 12 points in the second quarter. Los Angeles did outrebound Portland, who is playing for the third consecutive night, 25-22 in the opening 24 minutes. The Clippers and Blazers have split two games this season, with each team winning at home.
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