LOS ANGELES – On Wednesday night at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 102-81, to take a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-seven series in the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs.
To start the game, the Blazers got off the mark first and appeared set to take it to the Clippers and keep the game competitive. However, J.J. Redick fueled a quick 13-2 run, as LA jumped out to a nine-point lead in the blink of an eye. Redick would finish with 11 points in the first quarter to lead all scorers, but Portland guard C.J. McCollum poured in seven points of his own to keep the Blazers within five points after 12 minutes.
In the second quarter, the Clippers led by 15 points, but foul trouble sent star point guard Chris Paul to the bench, and Portland took advantage of LA's star sitting out. Fueled by Mason Plumlee's nine points in the quarter, the Blazers entered the halftime intermission only trailing by four points. At that stage, DeAndre Jordan already had 10 rebounds, though the Clippers' center had failed to make any of his three field goal attempts or any of his two free throw attempts. Defensively, though, Jordan controlled the painted area throughout the night.
In the second half, the Clippers came out and quickly took a double-digit lead before Portland scored a single second-half point. Three minutes into the half, the Clippers led by 12 points. Portland would respond, again, and cut the gap to only three points over the next three and a half minutes.
By the end of the quarter, the Clippers held a six-point lead over the visitors, and only 12 minutes stood between LA and a 2-0 series lead.
In the fourth and final period, the Clippers' second unit would extend that lead to 15 points within the first four minutes of the quarter. Soon after, the starters returned, and Paul led LA in extending the lead to 20 points at the two-minute mark. Eventually, LA won the game by 21 points, as the Clippers outscored the Blazers 35-20 in the fourth quarter.
Game Three of the first round series will take place in Portland on Saturday.
Notes: Paul finished with 25 points (game-high), six rebounds and five assists.