NEWS: Greg Oden is done for the year after undergoing Microfracture surgery today, the third of his career and second on his left knee.
The Portland Trail Blazers can dig themselves out of many self-imposed holes, but a 30-point second quarter deficit against the Los Angeles Lakers was just too much. Despite a somewhat ho-hum comeback, the Lakers easily held on in the fourth quarter to add to the Blazers' road woes.
The bright spot for the Blazers was once again Nicolas Batum, with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. LaMarcus Aldridge (18 points, 8 rebounds) and Jamal Crawford (15 points, 5 assists) were also almost relevant.
In the first quarter, Raymond Felton hit a three-pointer to take a 3 point lead. Afterward, the Blazers shot 16%, scored only 4 points all quarter, and fell behind by 22 points. Meanwhile, everyone was still talking about Greg. If you weren't here, you were lucky. The 7 total points was a new Blazer record low for the first quarter.
Before we had a chance to look up, the score was suddenly 37-7, as Blazer fans collectively banged their heads into their desks in unison. At that point, the Lakers simply got lazy, standing around and letting Steve Blake shoot (and mostly hit) three pointers. However, Nic Batum expended some energy and brought the Blazers all the way back. Well, to a 22 point deficit.
The Blazers slowly tried to climb back in the third quarter against a slow Laker team. After season lows for a first quarter and half, they set the team high for points in the third, with 36. By the time Nicolas Batum hit a three just before the third quarter buzzer, the Blazers cut the lead down to 14 entering the fourth, to give them a fighting chance.
Chip Chip Chip. 12 point game. Chip. A Jamal jumper made it a 10 point game. But that was it. Fisher and Bryant quickly scored 6 combined points to reopen a 16 point lead. There would be no further comebacks, just frustration about a game in which they never seriously threatened. The game ended with a few minutes for the rooks.
Check out the box score, with some interesting quarterly numbers, then stay tuned for Dave's recap. The Blazers are right back in action tomorrow, at home against San Antonio. Then, it's a sweet 8 days off for everyone but LaMarcus. -- Tim