The Portland Trail Blazers have been knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten, as the L.A. Clippers executed a 93-88 home win on Sunday night. The Clippers (2-2) got 17 points, seven assists and two steals from Chris Paul, but more important got enough defense to shut down the powerful Portland attack.
The Blazers scored their 88 points in 96 possessions for a performance far less efficient than what Portland has been doing this season. But the Blazers' only solid defense kept the game tight late. Portland pulled to within two with 30 seconds left on a LaMarcus Aldridge short jumper, but CP3 split a trap on the other end to put the Clippers back up by four at 92-88.
Gerald Wallace was held scoreless in 30 minutes, shooting 0-5 from the field. Aldridge played 42 minutes for the thin Blazers, and scored 19 points on 9-21 shooting with nine rebounds. His counterpart Blake Griffin had 20 on 6-11 shooting (8-10 from the line) with 10 rebounds. Portland fell to 3-1, and now has to travel into the belly of the beast with a visit to the 5-0 Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.
The Clippers will remain at home for a rare two days of rest before taking on the Houston Rockets in L.A. on Wednesday.