The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge (25 points, 11 rebounds) and Damian Lillard (25 points and 8 assists). Nicolas Batum had two big three-pointers in overtime, finishing with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Wesley Matthews added 17 points and 6 rebounds, and Mo Williams had another good game off the bench, adding 13 points and 7 assists.
The Blazers secured their first six-game winning streak since February 2011.
First Quarter: The Raptors, who were blown out in their previous game, came out hot. Insanely hot. In fact, they hit their first 8 shots. But the score was still tied. Toronto finally cooled down a little, but the Blazers couldn't take advantage, as their defense couldn't keep the Raptors out of the middle. Thanks to some three-point shooting, the Blazers held a slim lead after one.
Portland 31, Toronto 29
Man, this is like watching a video game.
by Corvallis, OR
Second Quarter: Lopez picked up his third foul to start the quarter, and Freeland already had two. Toronto took advantage for 5 quick points, as the Blazers seemingly grumbled at the awful referees, who both missed a Toronto goaltend, and called one on the Blazers that was clean. That was a referee-instigated 4-point swing to Toronto. Freeland quickly picked up his third foul with 7 minutes left, an the Blazer centers were benched. But back-to-back three's from Batum and Matthews gave the Blazers an 8 point lead. But their defense betrayed them yet again, and Toronto used easy inside scoring to stay close. Lillard and LaMarcus combined for a three-point play as the second quarter closed, to keep the Blazers ahead of the 57% shooting Raptors.
Portland 57, Toronto 54
Thank goddess for coffee
Third Quarter: Portland tried to pick up the defense and offensive rebounding as the second half began. They were successful, but they couldn't hit any shots, so they still maintained a slim lead. Toronto kept missing, and as the quarter wound down, a few Blazer shots finally started falling.
Portland 79, Toronto 69
Fourth Quarter: Say hello to Damian Lillard. He struggled for parts of the night, but as the Blazers had a chance to put Toronto away, he took over. Before the Raptors could say "eh?" (my apologies, Canadian fans!), he had a steal and multiple three-point plays, and the Blazers lead reached 17. The Raptors regrouped after a timeout. The Blazers helped out with their normal fourth quarter "comeback turnovers", as I'm starting to nickname them. Toronto scored 7 straight points and Blazers Coach Terry Stotts quickly called timeout with just over 6 minutes left. The Blazers continued to play like they don't know how to keep a lead (turnovers, early missed shots), but Toronto played like a team who didn't know how to take advantage. Finally late, the Blazers played with fire too many times, and the Raptors made a run, cutting the lead to 3 with a minute left. The Blazers continued their "we let teams come back" run by allowing the Raptors an offensive rebound on a missed free throw, then a dunk to cut the lead to two with 35 seconds left. With a chance to put the game away, Aldridge missed a jumper, but Mo Williams forced a jump ball with 7 seconds left. Toronto got the tip, and set up for a last shot with 4 seconds left. They gave it to Rudy Gay, who easily got by Batum for a layup at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. This was a terrible fourth quarter performance by the Blazers, reminiscent of the Suns game on opening night. The Blazers gave this game away, and Lopez had fouled out already.
Overtime: Lillard gave the Blazers an early lead, but Aldridge missed two free throws and Matthews missed two three-pointers. A Rudy Gay three-pointer gave the Raptors the lead, then Williams turned the ball over. Toronto couldn't take advantage, so Lillard hit a long three-pointer to tie the game, then a pull-up jumper for the lead! After a good defensive stand, Batum launched an open three... swish! The Blazers had a 5 point lead with 90 seconds left. Another good defensive stand (Batum stopping the same Gay layup that forced overtime) led to a wide open Batum for three... swish again! The Raptors hit a three but it was too late, the Blazers held on for a tough win.
Dave will have more analysis later today. The Blazers are back in action tomorrow night in Brooklyn.
Comments of the night!
Thanks to everyone who participates in our nightly Gameday Threads! I always quote a few favorites in the recap, but for a little extra fun, these were the most popular comments of the night based on number of recs: