The third quarter has been a problem for the Trail Blazers all season and it was again Saturday night in Portland’s 116-108 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
But the fourth quarter, when there was still a chance to win the game and take a 2-1 lead in the series, was even worse. The Trail Blazers couldn’t make shots. Portland held the Lakers to 23 points in the last quarter, their lowest period of the game, but the Blazers managed only 22.
And looked woefully tired.
Carmelo Anthony, Jusuf Nurkic, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum played the entire quarter and by the end of it appeared exhausted. And it showed in their shooting.
The Blazers made only 8 of 24 shots from the field and just one of their seven three-point shots in the period.
Fatigue? Great Laker defense? Poor Portland offense?
Or all of the above?
“I don’t know if fatigue had anything to do with it, or not,” Stotts said. “We didn’t make shots in the fourth quarter.
“You know, fatigue could have played a part in it. It’s hard to say. Dame came off and had some threes that didn’t go, but I don’t know. I don’t like looking for excuses. We’ll look at the film and see what kind of shots we got, but I don’t know.
“I really can’t say if it’s fatigue or shot selection or what right now.”
Somebody better figure it out…