----- The Cleveland Cavaliers explode in the second half to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Portland Trail Blazers played three terrific quarters of basketball tonight, but the bottom fell out for them in the fourth quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers used a strong second half to send Portland to their second loss in three games. The game was tied at 91-91 two possessions into the final quarter, but the Cavaliers used a 19-3 run to put the game away. The Blazers were outscored 36-23 in the fourth quarter and connected on just 8-for-21 from the floor.
Isaiah Thomas made his Cleveland Cavaliers debut against the Blazers, he finished with 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting in just 19 minutes of action. It was the first game he had played in since the Eastern Conference Finals last year as a member of the Boston Celtics. Thomas missed the first part of the season due to a hip injury that required extensive rehab. He and Kyrie Irving were the key pieces of a trade between the Celtics and Cavaliers during before the season began.
Damian Lillard made his return from a hamstring injury for Portland (19-18), he scored 25 points and six assists in 33 minutes of action. The biggest problem for lillard was ball secuirty. He committed seven of the Blazers' 15 turnovers in the game. Jusuf Nurkic had a big night for the Blazers scoring 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Nurkic shot 10-for-12 from the floor, one of his best shooting performances of the year.
Cleveland (25-12) got 24 points and eight assists from Lebron James and Kevin Love added 19 points. The biggest difference in the game came from the reserves. Cleveland's bench outscored Portland's bench 61-23.
Next up- Portland will return home to host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night at Moda Center. Game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM.
Chad's take- Blazers bench outscored 61-23. At some point, the Blazers will need to find somebody outside of Dame and CJ to make shots or this is going to be a long season.