On Friday night, the Portland Trail Blazers clinched the Northwest Division for the first time in franchise history. The Northwest Division has only been in existence for 10 seasons now, and has been dominated by the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past few seasons.
The Blazers accomplished the feat with a 107-77 win over the bottom-feeding Los Angeles Lakers. Bench guard C.J. McCollum had a career high 27 points while Damian Lillard added 20 of his own. When asked about claiming the coveted title, Lillard told reporters,
“It’s an honor to be a part of this team and do so many things that this organization hasn’t done for so long,” Lillard said.
Coach Terry Stotts also added,
“It’s something that we’ll always be a part of, and we need to relish this and enjoy it, because it doesn’t happen all the time, It’s good to be a part of history, winning the title outright. Like I told the team, the banner is going to go up, and we’ll always be a part of it”
The Trail Blazers are reassuring they are not done making noise in the western conference. They have more to accomplish. A major injury to starting guard Wesley Matthews was thought to cripple this team down the stretch. Since then, they have added guard Aaron Afflalo who has stepped in and made his presence know in Portland averaging 11.3 points since the trade.
Congratulations to the Portland Trail Blazers on a great season so far, and good luck to them in their playoff push!