The Portland Trail Blazers continue to set impressive offensive marks on their even more impressive start to the season, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 139-105 while setting a new franchise record as they hit 21 three pointers, improving to 20-4 this season.
Despite this being a game about three point shots, LaMarcus Aldridge, not taking a single shot from beyond the arc, finished with 20 points to lead the team, adding 16 rebounds and 5 assists. The shooting was left to his lineup teammates Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews, each connecting four times from three; Nicolas Batum with 3-of-7 from beyond the arc; and even the bench got involved: Dorrell Wright was a perfect 5-for-5, Mo Williams 3-of-5 and Allen Crabbe hit two 3-pointers as well.
The Trail Blazers scored 139 points, the most points by any team in a game this season. The last team to score more points in a regulation game was the Rockets (140) on Feb. 5, 2013 against the Warriors; The 34-point loss by the 76ers is their second by more than 30 this season, the third NBA team with multiple 30-point losses this season, joining the two New York teams.
We saw a combined 135 points in the first half from both teams, but the two teams didn’t keep up the pace of setting a new scoring high this year, as the Clippers beating the Rockets 137-118 still serves a season high with 255 points. They also combined to make 11 3-pointers in the 1st quarter, tied for the 2nd-most 3-pointers two teams have combined for in any quarter this season.
Beyond the numbers? It was simply a case of being too much against a limited team, as the Sixers also played with Michael Carter-Williams, out with a skin infection. A lot of the talk before and even after the game had to do with Aldridge not showing up very high on the All-Star voting ballots, not very surprising. He might be playing as good as any other forward in the West this season (23.4 points, 10.8 rebounds), but he’s playing for a team without a lot of national coverage, and his scoring style doesn’t make him exactly a YouTube highlights favorite. It’s hard to believe he won’t end up at least on the bench anyway.
The Blazers don’t have high flying moves to show off with. They’re about quick, unmatched offense, averaging a league best 107.8 points per game this season while shooting 41.9% from beyond the arc, including hitting 10 three pointers a game. With their record this season, they can live without anyone mentioning them as the most popular or followed team. Like the Indiana Pacers becoming more noticeable this year thanks to their body of work, the Blazers are also heading in the right direction if things carry on this way.