It sure is nice to have two superstars isn’t it? The Blazers gave the Miami Heat a scare, but all that seems do is bring out their best, as Lebron James willed them to 107-100 victory in OT Sunday night. Portland held a seven point lead with less than two minutes left but couldn’t hold on, and Miami clawed back to get their second straight win in OT.
Portland led for most of the second half, threatening to pull away on various occasions, but James and Wade were unconscious, combining for ridiculous 78 points. Wade did most of his work early, hitting his first seven shots from the field and scoring 15 of Miami’s first 19 points. Later on, Lebron’s doggedness would carry them home, coming up with 19 in the last 10 minutes including eight in overtime to extend the Heat’s road winning streak to 13.
“I had to do whatever it took to win,” James said. “Coach put me in that position and it created a mismatch for them and I was able to use my athleticism and quickness against whoever was on me.”
Lebron’s final line would read 44 points, 13 rebounds, six assists on a remarkable 17 of 26 shooting. Nic Batum did a nice job guarding him for the bulk of the game and it was all around strong game for the 22-year old. Playing with energy and aggression, he carried the Blazers in the first half and finished with 22 points, but he couldn’t keep up in the end.
The Aussie Patty Mills who continues to impress, had 11 of his 13 points in a sparkling 4th quarter, and he gave Portland an 82-78 fourth quarter lead on a deep foul line floater with less than 5 to play.
Quiet for most of the night, Wes Matthews came alive to create three straight hoops. After hitting a 10 foot baseline leaner, he found a well positioned LA for an easy lay in. After yet another LBJ bucket, Matthews came off a screen to nail a left elbow trey that gave the Blazers an 89-82 lead with 2:11 left. It brought the raucous Rose Garden crowd to their feet as Miami called for time, however the Heat stifled them from that point in, outscoring Portland 25-11 rest of the way.
A LaMarcus Aldridge lay in gave them a 91-84 advantage but King James wasted no time responding, drilling a quick three for his ninth straight point. With the lead then trimmed to two, a critical missed call by the refs would cost the Blazers dearly. Following a misfire by Wes Matthews, James double dribbled after pulling down the rebound, but to the crowds displeasure the infraction went inexplicably unnoticed . Lebron got out on the break and fed James Jones; two free throws later the the game was tied at 91.
LaMarcus Aldridge as he did all game, backed Chris Bosh into the paint and hit a six foot turnaround to reclaim the lead, but the very next possession Lebron charged to the rim with abandon, drew a foul, and tied the game at 93 with two free throws.
With just a shade over 24 tics left the Blazers held for the final possession, but Andre Miller missed two chances to send the game into overtime, and with five fresh minutes added, Miami imposed their will.
The Blazers offense was all Aldridge in OT; a driving dunk down the lane cut the lead two with just over two left, before Lebron drilled yet another three to make the lead 100-95, slapping himself in the butt in appreciation of his own greatness. A few possessions later he would throw the final dagger. With the deficit four with under a minute the Blazers got a stop, but after pulling down a rebound Aldridge traveled while rethinking a pass on the move. Lebron put them out of their misery nailing a final three moments later to give him 44 for the game and the seven point victory.
That’s what big-time players do,” Matthews said. “He was coming down, hitting big shots—daggers—and we couldn’t do anything about it.”
It was a sour way to finish off another brilliant performance by Aldridge but Lebron, as he for most everybody, was just too much for Portland. Down the stretch he played with the assassin-like mentality and when he gets in that mode, as Matthews said, little can be done to stop him.
Aldridge finished with a dazzling 34 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists, bearing resemblance to a prototypical Lebron stat line. Not enough can be said about him, as he continues to do anything and everything for the Blazers. Count Erik Spoelstra amongst the impressed.
“Aldridge is a totally different player than what we saw last year,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He has added so much to his game. He’s so much more aggressive. He put so much pressure on you in the paint.”
The Blazers shot just 41% from the floor but were boosted by second chance points and 17 Miami turnovers. Miami on the other hand shot 56 % from the field.
“Our guys played hard and played well enough to win this game,” McMillan said. “Wwe didn’t shoot the ball well, but we battled enough to give ourselves a chance.
About the Author
Written by Brandon Marcus
I am 25 year old native New Yorker. I went to the University of Florida where I got my degree Sports Management. I am a die hard fan of the New York Giants, Knicks, Mets and the movie, Die Hard. I'll be covering the Portland Trail Blazers, but also will keep my eye on the league as a whole, and will drop in from time to time with some random thoughts.