The 2020/21 NBA season is the 75th season of the National Basketball Association and it has been reduced to 72 games. At the time of writing, the regular season is underway and we have already seen several games postponed due to the current circumstances. However, on the 10th of February the game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic went ahead as planned.
It was a great game for the Trail Blazers who took little time in building a decent lead and having made five of their 12 three-point attempts, they led 31-19 at the end of the first quarter. It quickly became apparent the Trail Blazers had a break between games, whereas the Magic were struggling somewhat due to absentees. Among those who missed the game for Orlando were Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Fournier, Markelle Fultz, Aaron Gordon, and Jonathan Isaac. There were further problems during the game in terms of personnel for the Magic, with Cole Anthony and the just-returned Al-Farouq Aminu both leaving the game early.
In the first quarter of the game, Nikola Vucevic missed 4 of his first 5 shots and a good interior defense by the starters for the Trail Blazers allowed them to build a lead. Into the second quarter and there was more of the same for Magic. Although Portland were not a great deal superior, they made their three-point attempts count once more and the Blazers led 50-43 at the half-way point of the game.
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Back to the Blazers vs Magic and into the third quarter of the game it was the Damian Lillard show, at least early on. The Blazers man scored 6 of Portland’s first 8 points in the quarter and this seemed to deflate the Magic defensively. The Blazers were in the comfort zone and playing around the Magic with ease. Lillard scored 18 points in the third and although Portland’s defense went to sleep towards the end of the quarter, the Magic could not claw back the deficit sufficiently and the score was 84-73 after three.
Into the fourth quarter and step forward Carmelo Anthony, who ran riot in the opening stages for Portland. In doing so, he passed Oscar Robertson for 12th on the all-time NBA scoring list. The performance of Anthony in the opening stages was enough to seal the victory for the Blazers. Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross continued to score the points for Orland but there was simply too much for them to do in order to close the score. Lillard came to the fore once again towards the end of the game and closed out the win for Portland, who look more likely to claim a playoff than the Magic this season.