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In a game with the same level of play, and championship implications, as an NCAA Play-In game, the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Golden State Warriors tonight. This was a close but uninteresting game, with an exciting final minute, as long as you can handle your own conflicted emotions.
The Blazers were led by the usual suspects in the post-Nate era, Nicolas Batum (17 points, 8 rebounds), LaMarcus Aldridge (18 points, 9 rebounds), and Raymond "I care again!" Felton (24 points, 7 assists).
It's really hard to make an effort to do a first-half write up, when the teams weren't making an effort to win. How lazy was it? The Blazers shot 16 three pointers and made 5. The Blazers had that "we know the season is over, and we're playing out the string" look on their faces. LaMarcus Aldridge's 10 and 5 led the way in a half where the Rose Garden fans started booing when Felton missed shots. Golden State's Charles Jenkins was dominant throughout the half. No, the Blazers didn't know him either.
The second half began with a Felton pass to the front row. Golden State held the lead until late in the quarter, when Felton and Batum heated up, carrying the Blazers back into a 6 point lead with a 25-12 run. The quarter ended with the same lead, but the Warriors quickly stormed right back at the start of the fourth. If this sounds exciting, my apologies. Jenkins scored 4 quick points to give the Warriors a 3 point lead. Both sides played back and forth, as the lead changed hands multiple times down the stretch. A late 10-2 Blazer run, led by Felton, gave the Blazers a 3 point lead with 20 seconds left. The Warriors missed a three pointer, and cue the streamers.
The box score was as exciting as the game, but Dave and Ben will have plenty more to discuss later tonight, and they're always entertaining, so stay tuned. -- Tim