(Bruce Ely / The Oregonian)
No answer for Aldridge
When a team turns the ball over, the opposition gets more shots. It’s simple. Doesn’t matter how well a team is playing, if giving the ball away, the likelihood of coming away with a victory is slim. The Sixers had 20 turn0vers last night; the very talented Blazers capitalized and won their home opener, 107-103.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals. Portland went to him early and there was nothing Philadelphia could do. His height, strength and versatility make him a very tough player to guard at his position. He can step out and shoot it or bang down low on both ends.
Combined with Gerald Wallace (21 points, 9 rips) and Wes Mathews (16 points, 6 rebounds) the Trailblazers were threatened at times but scored baskets just when it seemed the Sixers wanted to get a lead and take control.
The turnovers doomed Philadelphia. Portland got up 97 shots…compared with Philly’s 83. The Sixers hit a little less than half of their shots…48% while the Blazers hit at a 41% clip.
Portland got out hot and led by 13 early before Lou Williams tossed in 12 of his 25 in the second quarter. Both teams went small and besides the turnovers, it was a very well played game. Both teams made runs off of torrid shooting.
Besides Aldridge and Matthews, Portland got contributions from Felton with 12, newly acquired Jamal Crawford with 12 and Nicolas Batum dropped 10.
After a Louis Williams three brought it to two, a subsequent Portland free throw make…Andre Iguodala missed a three from the left wing that would have tied the game. Aldridge defended.
Very dangerous team. The Crawford signing was a great move for he’ll put up 50 before you know it…off the bench.
Spencer Hawes just missed a triple double with 10 points, 14 boards and 9 dimes. He played very well at times getting to loose balls and finding the open man off misses.
Both teams put up 19 three point attempts with the Blazers hitting 9…one more than the Sixers.
Bench points: Sixers 45 to Blazers 27.
For the Sixers, the aforementioned Lou Williams led with 25, Iguodala 22 (8 boards), Jrue Holiday had 13 and the quartet of Brand (8 rips), Turner, Hawes and Young chipped in with 12. Turner looked extremely active. This could be his year. He and Holiday fouled out.
Doug Collins after the game said what most of us watching the game was thinking: “Our competitive will was strong; our execution has to get better.”
The Sixers are on a five game road trip. They return to Philly for a January 6 home opener.