Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
In a closely-fought game, the Orlando Magic gave the Portland Trail Blazers all they could handle, but ran out of steam in overtime. The Blazers won another home game and moved to four games over .500.
The Blazers won this game due to monster nights from all the starters. Four players had double-doubles: LaMarcus Aldridge (27 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists), Nicolas Batum (16 points, 10 assists), Damian Lillard (18 points, 10 assists) and JJ Hickson (20 points, 15 rebounds). Never one to slack, Wesley Matthews added 24 points and 4 assists. Ronnie Price (8 points,3 assists) had a nice game off the bench, and Luke Babbitt hit a few nice three's for 6 points.
First Quarter: Rough start for the Blazers, as the Magic jumped to an early 7 point lead. Aldridge was on fire, scoring 12 of the Blazers' first 21 points. That brought Portland right back into the game, with Joel Freeland and Victor Claver pushing them into a one point lead at the end of the quarter.
Do they know they got MIAMI on Thurs? Neeeeeed to get this game!
Our plan is to get blown out here, then take a 20 point lead over Miami and pull out a 4 point win after a big Miami comeback.
Second Quarter: The "other" JJ, Redick, scored 9 quick outside points to give Orlando a five point lead again. Portland called timeout to regroup, and to perhaps start guarding him. Happily, they did, though somehow former Blazer Josh McRoberts burned them from three instead. Price led the bench back to the lead nonetheless, but the Blazers couldn't stop Orlando's insanely hot shooting. Looking nothing like a team that has lost 8 straight games, the Magic were unconscious, nailing shots from all over the court. They ended the court on a 14-2 run, and took a 9 point lead into the locker room.
"Price was gonna try to pack that". Never thought I’d hear that
by Chuck Nevitt
I thought it would be about his suitcase after being released.
by permaswoon (who was on a roll)
Third Quarter: Orlando pushed the lead to 11, but then the Blazer starters got to work. The defense ramped up, and by the 6 minute mark, the lead was gone. However, they couldn't gain a lead, as Redick reappeared and immediately nailed more three-pointers, to the groans of the crowd. Some great Blazer D prevented yet another three at the buzzer, and the game was tied headed to the fourth quarter.
Somebody threw a lot of chairs during halftime :-)
Fourth Quarter: Redick again turns into the Blazer-killer, hitting multiple three's and, amazingly, taking the ball to the hole and scoring over Aldridge's outstretched arm. The Blazers called timeout, down 5 again. When an a nice Matthews pass led to an Aldridge dunk, the game was tied and Orlando needed a timeout. They regained the lead, but a Matthews three put the Blazers ahead with 4 minutes left. After the Magic missed, Batum launched a three. Brick. But Aldridge grabbed the rebound and gave Nic another chance. Swish. Orlando needed a timeout, suddenly down by 4. The Magic wouldn't fade, closing to within 2 with 90 seconds left. But Aldridge gives it to Batum who again nails a three-pointer for a 5 point lead. After Orlando free throws, Aldridge missed, and the Magic had a chance to tie with 30 seconds left. They cut the lead to one with a jumper, but now the shot clock was off. After the automatic foul, Batum went to the line, and swished them both. With one last chance to tie, Orlando gave the ball to Jameer Nelson, who nailed a three with 9 seconds left to tie the game. The Blazers, with a chance to win the game, gave the ball to Lillard, who launched an ISO jumper. It bricked, so let's go to overtime.
Overtime: The Blazers took a one point lead on a Matthews free throw, but it was followed by a beautiful no-look pass from Batum to Aldridge for a three-point play. Suddenly the lead was 4, but not for long. Orlando tied it with a layup at the two minute mark. Lillard swished a jumper to take the lead again, and followed it up with a very lucky floater for a 4 point lead with 1:15 left. At the other end, Lillard (sensing a pattern here?) stole the ball, passing it up court for an easy Hickson dunk. Suddenly there was 1:07 left, and a 6 point Blazer lead, all on Lillard. Orlando started launching the three-pointers they made all night, but the Magic was no longer there. When Matthews nailed a fast-break dunk with 48 seconds left, the game was over, and the Blazers pulled off another overtime victory.