So much for the Trail Blazers' dreams of an undefeated stay in Las Vegas. If Portland plays the way it did on Thursday for the remainder of Summer League, Roy Rogers' team will struggle to even be competitive, let alone pull off another victory.
The Blazers were dominated by the Indiana Pacers in their third Summer League game, falling 97-64 after a downright embarrassing second half.
Portland was outscored 27-7 during the third quarter, succumbing to a series of head-scratching mistakes on both sides of ball. The Blazers were confused on defense, gave little effort getting back in transition and frequently seemed to lack any plan of attack on the other end of the floor.
On multiple occasions in the second half, Portland even struggled to bring the ball up the court or initiate offense via a simple pass to the wing without turning the ball over or throwing it out of bounds.
When the Blazers were forced to defend late in the shot clock or make multiple efforts on the defensive string, they were often left pointing fingers or hanging their heads after easy Indiana scores.
For a long time in the second half, the carnage was even worse than the final score indicated. Portland, somehow, had scored just 12 points since intermission before Greg Brown splashed in a one-dribble three with 4:48 left in the fourth quarter, beginning a relative barrage of meaningless Blazers buckets until the final buzzer sounded.
Brown flashed at times again for Portland, a fleeting bright spot en route to 12 points, seven rebounds and two steals on 5-of-10 shooting. Antonio Blakeney led the Blazers with 15 points, the only member of his team other than Brown to make half his field goal attempts and reach double-figures.
Portland shot 33.3 percent overall and 20 percent from beyond the arc, horrible efficiency artificially inflated by a quartet of threes in the game's half-hearted final few minutes. The Blazers committed 22 turnovers and doled out just 14 assists, too.
In a nod to team-wide defensive struggles, both Brown and Trendon Watford finished with six fouls. CJ Elleby also continued his less-than-inspiring play, shooting just 1-of-8 and in general failing to make consistently positive contributions elsewhere. Kenneth Faried was forced to leave the game as the Pacers began their decisive second-half run, sidelined by an injury to his right hand.
A silver lining for some Portland fans? University of Oregon graduate Chris Duarte was the best player on the floor, stuffing the stat sheet for Indiana with 19 points, six assists, four steals and four blocks.
The summer Blazers are back in action on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. (PST) against the Phoenix Suns