Philadelphia came into Friday night's game riding high off a two game winning streak, and a serious opportunity to extend it Friday night in Portland. The Trail Blazers were without the services of LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, and Chris Kaman, effectively vaulting Thomas Robinson and Joel Freeland into the starting lineup. But post play would be a non-factor, as the Trail Blazers would take the Sixers to school in a three-point shooting class.
The Sixers jumped out to an early lead by capitalizing on turnovers and scoring out in transition. But behind nine first quarter points from Portland, the Trail Blazers were able to jump out to a 27-24 lead heading into the second quarter. From then on, it was the Wesley Matthews show. The former undrafted Marquette guard was en fuego from beyond the arc, and would finish the night 7-14 from three. Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten did their best to keep Philadelphia in the game by attacking Portland's reserve bigs, and were able to close the gap ten points at halftime.
Portland continued to pour it on from three-point range, with Allen Crabbe and Damian Lillard getting in on the outside shooting barrage in the third quarter. The game was well out of hand by the end of the 3rd quarter, and head coach Terry Stotts was essentially playing his Las Vegas Summer League team to end the fourth quarter.
The Trail Blazers ended up an absurd shooting 18-43 (41.9%) as a team from three, which was essentially the main reason they cruised to such a dominating victory. Philadelphia looked as though they were back in September, struggling to close out on outside shooters and making really bad rotations. There were countless times where Matthews was wide open, which is simply just a lack of attention.
Joel Freeland, who averages just 3.6 rebounds per game, finished the night with 17 rebounds. It's an indictment mostly on Nerlens Noel, who really struggled to find positioning for himself. Noel finished the evening with 8 points on 4-9 shooting, and 7 rebounds.
On the flip side of the basketball, it was a good night for point guard Tony Wroten. Wroten played like he was out to impress 70 of his closest friends and family at the game (he was), finishing with 22 points on 7-13 shooting. Michael Carter-Williams scored just 17 points on 8-20 shooting, but scored in an array of ways. He displayed a nice floater on multiple occassions, and was able to score around contact at the rim. Robert Covington really struggled Friday, finishing 5 turnovers to go with his 8 points on 3-10 shooting. Covington really struggled to create opportunities for himself off the dribble, and wasn't put in enough catch-and-shoot situations off ball screens to be effective.
The Sixers are right back at it tomorrow as they take on the Utah Jazz from Salt Lake City at 9:00 P.M.