Game 70 Recap: Blazers 76, Wizards 74

Long Story Short:  Brandon Roy's last-second 22-footer gives Portland the winning margin in a game so hideous that had it been run on the playground under "winner stays" rules both teams would have been forced off the court upon its conclusion.

The Game

Excuse me. I can't start quite yet.  The screen's a little blurry.  I just got finished washing out my eyes.  With battery acid.  Yeah, I know...but it was the closest thing at hand.  Believe me, this feels a lot better than watching that game.  Oh...it's clearing up now.  Just a little redness, that's all.  Anyway...

The Blazers won!  Yaaaay!  Whoopee!  In a thrilling finish to...ohhhhh dangit.  I just can't.  Look, here's the story.  Both teams stank at the offensive end all night.  And by "stank" I mean people were pulling off the road in Woodburn and Chehalis going, "What's that smell?"  The Wizards shot 39% for the game.  The Blazers shot 32.1%.  And both teams had torrid fourth quarters to bring their averages up that far.  Let's break it down this way:  The Blazers scored 76 points, right?  24 of those were from the foul line.  24 free throws made, 25 field goals made.  The Wizards were almost as bad, just without as many free throws and offensive rebounds as the Blazers got.  This was Glenn Beck visits the N.O.W./P.E.T.A. convention ugly.  This was Britney Spears headlines the Metropolitan Opera ugly.  This was Andre Miller waiting in the back seat of TiH's Volvo with cucumbers and duct tape ugly.  I have three cats.  I've seen them hack up better looking stuff than we saw tonight.  You know how people clip highlights from games and put them to cool music on YouTube?  I swear, the perfect soundtrack for this game would be...

Cough.  Cough.  Wheeze.  Hack.  BWAAAAAAAAAAH!  Miss.

Cough.  Cough.  Wheeze.  Hack.  BWAAAAAAAAAAH!  Miss.

Anyway... Let's just skip the whole first three quarters and get to the money plays.

The score was 55-51 in favor of Blazers after three quarters.  (Yeah...told you everybody had trouble scoring tonight.)    Portland had maintained a 5-9 point lead most of the game.  Normally that would make you nervous but in this game it was, like, 18 possessions' worth of points.  So you figured the Blazers were going to come out ahead by virtue of those free throws and offensive rebounds if nothing else.  When Andre Miller hit a layup against a passive Wizards' defense with 4:50 left to push Portland up by 9 the game looked to be over.  But then Shaun Livingston hit a layup the other way.  Three misses later Mike Miller hits a jumper.  Now it's 5 points with 3:20 left.  Having watched Nicolas Batum miss on a three in their last possession the Blazers decide to give him another try.  He misses again.  Andray Blatche rebounds and tosses it long to a streaking Al Thornton.  Showing you he isn't completely clueless about his job, Batum races back (the only Blazer back on defense) and catches him in an effort to get one of his famous come-from-behind rejections.  Instead all he gets is the body bump on the dunk and Thorton converts a three-point play.  Wizards within 2 with 2:50 left.

Having watched Nicolas Batum miss on a three in their last possession the Blazers decide to give him another try.  He misses again.  And the next three defensive possessions consist of Portland leaving Randy Foye open for 20-23 foot jump shots, all of which he makes.  Fortunately Miller is fouled on the drive on the other end on one possession and Batum is fouled off of an offensive rebound grab on a second.  They make three of the four free throws between them, tallying 3 points for Portland to 7 for Washington in the span of a minute or so.  With 1 minute remaining Portland trails by 2.  Now this is getting really ugly.

On Portland's next shot Brandon Roy missed a three but LaMarcus Aldridge grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled, hitting both shots.  The game was tied with 51 seconds left.  Washington took the clock down but Mike Miller missed a three at the end of their possession.  The ball caromed long left, however, and as the chase for the rebound ensued Blatche knocked the ball off of Batum and out of bounds.  The Wizards get another chance.  Blatche missed the ensuing layup and Batum grabbed the rebound to give Portland possession with the game tied 20 seconds remaining.

You know where the ball was going, of course.  And it did.  Brandon Roy dribbled the ball out high to run down the clock.  The Wizards thought about throwing the early double team at him but the seemed undecided about whether it would be OK to leave Martell Webster open on the sideline to do so.  They ended up not acting soon enough.  Brandon took it to the three-point arc to the left of the lane.  He stopped, faked, spun (in what may have been a travel), ducked under, and rose for a jumper just inside the arc which went through with half a second remaining.  Washington couldn't get the ball in cleanly and the Blazers won by two.  This was a considerable relief, as at that point I was kneeling down with my head between my recliner's footrest and base.  Had this game gone into overtime I was going to start pulling the lever repeatedly until I lost consciousness.

Here's what you need to know:  24-11 foul shots made advantage.  17 offensive rebounds.  That's why Portland was able to pull it out with Roy's make.

Individual Observations

I'm not sure anyone wants their name associated with this one, so let's keep this simple too.  Jerryd Bayless went 3-6, Martell Webster 2-4, and Juwan Howard 2-3.  Those were the only Blazers within sniffing distance of 50%.  Most of the rest of the team shot closer to 0% than 50%.  No Blazer had more than 3 assists.  Andre Miller and Rudy Fernandez had 3 each.  LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and Marcus Camby (19) had gaudy rebounding numbers but those were seriously inflated by the 100 misses for which the teams combined.  And that's no exaggeration.  We saw 100 missed attempts tonight.  Still that's 31 of those 100 shots rebounded by those two guys, so it was a good night.  Aldridge deserves credit for running the court, thus creating at least a little pressure offensively.  Camby also had 4 blocks.  And that's that.

Now let us never speak of this game again.

Boxscore

I can't even guess what you're going to find at BulletsForever.  They played as poorly as the Blazers and ended up losing besides.

See your Jersey Contest results here.  (Hint:  Nobody scored as much as either team did tonight.)  Enter Sunday's game here.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

P.S.  If any game ever called for a Haiku-fest, this one does.  Put 'em in the comments.  Haiku have three lines of 5-7-5 syllables respectively, in case you've forgotten.

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