----- The Portland Trail Blazers used a 30-16 advantage in the third quarter to defeat the shorthanded Los Angeles Clippers 104-96 Tuesday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.
The Clippers were playing their first game without Blake Griffin following Monday's shocking trade that sent him to Detroit and the Trail Blazers were the benefactors. The Blazers used a 30-16 advantage in the third quarter to pull away and secure a 104-96 win. With the win, Portland moved into sixth place in the Western Conference playoff standings just two games back of Minnesota for fourth.
Damian Lillard led Portland (28-22) with 29 points and seven assists while Jusuf Nurkic finished with 14 points and tied a career-high with 20 rebounds. The Blazers shot just 36.7% from the floor, but connected on 13-for-30 from three-point range.
Lou Williams led the Clippers (25-25) with 20 points but connected on just 5-for-26 from the floor. DeAndre Jordan finished with eight points and 19 rebounds.
Next up- The Trail Blazers return home to meet the Chicago Bulls in the second of a back-to-back Wednesday night at Moda Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM.
Chad's take- Don't look now, but the Blazers are just two-games behind Minnesota for fourth in the Western Conference playoff standings.