In a game that much of the country only saw partially, the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Los Angeles Lakers 107-96.
Huge performances from Gerald Wallace (31 points, 5 rebounds) and LaMarcus Aldridge (28 points, 10 rebounds) helped pace the Blazers, who looked like one of the best teams in the Western Conference for the second straight game.
In the first half, I have no idea what happened. I'd like to take a minute to thank Turner Broadcasting for that. I know the Hawks and Heat went to triple overtime, but you'd think they could stream it on their web site, or show it on TBS. Apparently not. The Blazers were behind by 4 at the half, from what I heard.
In the third quarter, the Blazers fought back. Strong defense and some transition buckets turned the game around quickly. After a 19-6 run, Portland led by 7. As the clock ran down to end the quarter, Jamal Crawford calmly sank a long three pointer to push the lead to 10.
In the fourth quarter, more of the same. Blazers get out on transition, the fans cheer, the Lakers stare at the scoreboard. With 7 minutes left in the fourth, the Blazers pulled out to a 13 point lead. A big three-point play from Pau Gasol cut the lead to 9 with 4 minutes to play.
The boxscore is here. The next game is tomorrow night, the second game of a doubleheader on ESPN. They'd better have ESPN2 ready. -- Tim