January 4, 2020 / 2:51 AM / 21 days ago

Blazers throttle depleted Wizards to end skid

EditorsNote: Fixes surname of Mathews in 6th graf; other edits for clarity

Jan 3, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard sits on the bench during a warm up session prior to the BlazersÕ game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard scored 35 points, C.J. McCollum added 24, and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a five-game losing skid Friday with a 122-103 win over the host Washington Wizards.

Portland, on a five-game road swing through the Eastern Conference, improved to 1-1 on the trip after losing Wednesday to New York. The backcourt duo of Lillard and McCollum struggled in the loss to the Knicks, combining for just 28 points.

On Friday, however, the Trail Blazers guards flourished against a badly depleted Washington backcourt. The Wizards came into Friday’s game without All-Stars John Wall and Bradley Beal — Wall continues to recover from an Achilles’ injury sustained last season, while Beal sat for the third time in his last four with leg soreness.

Their situation at guard became even more dire mere moments into the game when Isaiah Thomas was ejected for making contact with an official.

Washington also came into Friday’s game without center Thomas Bryant and forward Rui Hachimura. The bevy of absences provided opportunities for Wizards bench players, including Jordan McRae.

McRae matched Lillard’s game high with 35 points, Garrison Mathews added 18 points and Ish Smith finished with 16 points, all contributing to a 76-19 advantage in bench scoring for Washington. Portland’s starters posted a more lopsided edge, however, outscoring their counterparts 103-27.

Lillard and McCollum led four Trail Blazers starters scoring in double figures, joined by Carmelo Anthony with 16 and Hassan Whiteside with 23. Whiteside also grabbed 21 rebounds. Mario Hezonja made it five Trail Blazers in double digits with 10 points.

Troy Brown Jr. led the Washington starters with 10 points.

Washington scratched out a 31-27 lead through the first quarter, but Portland seized control with a 39-27 advantage in the second. The Trail Blazers kept the Wizards at bay for the remainder of the night.

—Field Level Media

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