We had a fairly entertaining game between the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers. One in which the Blazers pulled out the win 118-110.
Both teams are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but both seem to have a semi-bright future if the cards are played right. It’s not like either team is the Charlotte Bobcats or anything. So it was not a surprise that tonight’s game was a close one.
Portland played without All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge due to a sore hip, and may possibly be without him the rest of the season. The Blazers for the most part still looked good as they took a seven point lead into halftime thanks in large part to Jamal Crawford, who just had one of those nights where you thought everything he shot was going in. At one point in the second quarter Crawford went on a stretch where he scored 17 of 20 points for Portland. The league leader in four-point plays showed why as he was fouled twice from beyond the arc. He made all six of those free throws, and finished 13-13 from the line. He definitely had it going tonight and finished with 34 points on 10-18 shooting.
The other star for Portland was J.J. Hickson who is quickly becoming my favorite player on the team (How did Sacramento just release him for nothing?). Hickson filled up the box score with 23 points while grabbing 13 rebounds. I can really see the team feed off his energy. Something they were missing prior to the trade deadline.
Other notable Blazers were Wesley Matthews, who hit a couple crazy big shots in the final minute and finished with 18 points, and Raymond Felton who had a double-double of his own with 16 points and 10 assists. Felton is really coming on strong at the end of this season. Not sure it’s enough to make up for his poor play the first three quarters of the year, but it’s still nice to see.
So obviously the Blazers had their offense clicking, however their defense was suspect at best. Giving up 110 points is not great by any stretch of the imagination. Taking a 10 point lead into the fourth the Blazers played possibly the worst two and a half minute stretch of defense I maybe have ever seen. The warriors were driving to the hoop completely uncontested. Literally there was nobody in the lane. To add to that, there looked to be a couple plays where Joel Przybilla just decided to quit. It was very strange and unsettling to see the Blazers completely lose focus. Luckily they had enough offensive firepower to keep the Warriors at bay and held on to the lead as the final buzzer sounded.
We got the Dallas Mavericks coming up next on another nationally televised game. I think we all remember the great finish the last time these two teams played each other. Without Aldridge we’ll have to see if the Blazers can pull off another awesome upset.
About the Author
Written by Colin Chisholm
I'm a huge sports fan and basketball nut. I grew up in Oregon and now live in the great city of Chicago while trying to crack my way into the sports industry.