Everyone's favorite (perpetually overlooked) dark horse is knocking on the door of contention.
10 straight Ws for Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum & the Blazers, who now sit 3rd in the West - season-high 15! games over .500 (41-26).
Last night, POR staved off a strong second half rally by the HEAT, led by a reserve group featuring Justise Winslow (DD - 15, 13! & 4 dimes off bench). Miami was able to cut the lead to six but that was as close as they got - Damian Lillard hit a couple back-breaking jumpers to push Portland over the edge, extending their longest winning streak of the year.
Two things of note:
- POR took care of a "trap game!" -- Without Hassan Whiteside & Dwyane Wade, the Blazers could have taken Miami lightly - a foolish thought for anyone unaware of MIA's tremendous depth & Coach Erik Spoelstra's lineup combinations. Instead, they jumped on the HEAT early, moving the ball & creating opportunities - got to the line 30 times, shot 45% and hit 14 triples
- Jusuf Nurkic Domination -- J. Nurkic doesn't get a lot of mainstream love but his game stacks up w/ some of the best two-way bigs in the league. Against a smaller Bam Adebayo, Nurkic did work early & often - scored the game's first six points, finished w/ 27!, 16! boards, 3 dimes & 3 blocks
3/15 v. Cavs - will the streak continue??