Tonight, the Blazers came out slow and sluggish. They couldn’t score, pass, or play defense, and at the end of the first quarter, they found themselves down 33-10. Dallas would extend that lead to 30 on 3 different occasions. At half time, the Blazers were down 57-38.
Luckily for the Blazers, this was a game of two halves. In the third quarter, LaMarcus Aldridge caught on fire and the Blazers flipped the switch. In that period, the Blazers lead by as many as 4. The final quarter was a roller coaster. Portland lead by as many as 7 in the fourth quarter, and Rip City was rocking! But then, the refs happened.
With 4:24 left in the game, Portland held a RELATIVELY comfortable 98-92 lead. However, two no-calls, a bad charge call against Blazers G Damian Lillard, and offensive rebound given up changed the game. From the time Portland held that six point lead to the sounding of the final horn, the Blazers let Dallas go on an 11-0 run. Dallas took the lead and never looked back.
Wesley Matthews had a spectacular outing, finishing with 26 points. LaMarcus Aldridge also played well for the most part, but he gave up a very important offensive rebound near the end of the game. He finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds. The back court tandem of Damian Lillard and Mo Williams had an atrocious outing. The duo finished with combined stats of 17 points (6-19 from the field) and 6 turnovers.
The Blazers will head over to Houston tonight to take on the Rockets, who dismantled the Indiana Pacers tonight. That game will most likely have a large affect on playoff positioning in the Western Conference. Coming into tonight, the fifth placed Blazers and third placed Rockets were tied (the Los Angeles Clippers hold the fourth seed — they have a worse record than Portland and Houston, but because the Clippers are a division leader, they automatically get a top 4 seed). Sunday’s game could drastically change the playoff match-ups.
If Portland wants to win on Sunday, they have to come out with intensity and a sense of urgency. They can’t come out as slowly as they did today. Unlike Dallas, Houston will kill you and take you out of the game early.
What are your thoughts on the game? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time,