What started as an awful game turned into a barn-burner. Trailing from the opening tip, the Blazers spent the evening in comeback mode, eventually coming up short against the Dallas Mavericks in double overtime.
The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 33 points and 12 rebounds, with support from Gerald Wallace (10 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals) and Nicolas Batum (12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks). Jamal Crawford scored 19, but missed a few big shots down the stretch.
Let's keep this first half recap short. The Blazers stunk. At one point in the second quarter, the score was 34-16. The Blazers were allowing open dunks and threes, while missing jumpers. Finally, Dallas went cold from the outside and the Blazers made a small run. They only scored 32 points in the half, but were lucky to be down 11.
In a big moment, Lamar Odom landed on Marcus Camby's foot, leaving him in pain [details here]. He came back to the game later nonetheless.
Dallas opened the second half with a 3-pointer. It looked bad, but the Blazers kept pushing, as a four-point possession cut the lead to 6 in the middle of the third. However, it was short-lived as 8 Dallas points in 40 seconds bumped the lead back to 14. From there, the two teams fought in and out of single digits. With some help from a Delonte West flagrant foul, the Blazers closed to within 6 after three.
An Aldridge jumper cut the lead to 4 to start the fourth quarter. Thanks to some early Blazer fouls, Dallas pushed the lead back to 8, but could not pull away, as the Blazers pulled to within 2 with under 6 minutes left. Then, after struggling all night, Raymond Felton nails a three pointer to tie the game with 5 minutes left. However, the Mavs scored the next 4 points to regain the lead. Jamal missed a layup with just over two minutes left that would have tied the game, then LaMarcus missed a jumper to do the same. Portland eventually had the ball with 30 seconds left, down by just 2 points. Marion guards Aldridge strong, as Aldridge double-clutches, throws the ball toward the hoop... and it dances around the rim and falls in to tie the game. Dallas has the last possession to win. Dirk takes a fadeaway, and clanks it, sending the game into extra minutes.
Batum hit a jumper to give the Blazers their first lead of the whole night as overtime began. And before you could blink, Crawford added a layup for a 4 point lead! Dallas stayed close, but struggled to tie the game thanks to strong defense and rebounding from Crash. However, the Blazers failed to score on three straight possessions, and Dallas tied the game on a Marion layup with 1 minute left. When the Blazers couldn't score, Marion is fouled on the rebound and hits two free throws to regain the lead. But with 24 seconds left, LaMarcus hits a sky hook to tie it back up. Dirk missed a jumper with two seconds left, giving the Blazers a chance to win. However, Crawford clanked a three, and we're headed to another overtime.
Raymond Felton took all of the Blazers' shots for the first 2 minutes of overtime. He even made one (and missed a FT). However, of all people, Delonte West found the range to give Dallas a four point lead. Crawford's free throws cut it to two, then an Aldridge jumper tied the game with 90 seconds left. They had a chance at the lead, but Aldridge's jumper bounced out with a minute left. Dallas took advantage, tipping in a miss for a 2 point lead with 45 seconds left. After a Crawford miss, Dirk hit a jumper with 16 seconds left. The Blazers had a jump ball opportunity while down three, got possession, and Crawford took the worst three in recorded history to finish the game
Check out the box score, then stay tuned for Dave's recap a little later. The Blazers have two days off, then host the Washington Wizards on Tuesday. -- Tim
Update: Click on the image below to survey the damage done by the Felton/Crawford/Matthews trio in going a combined 13-for-50 from the field, including 6-for-35 from outside the paint. It looks like errant machine gun fire.