The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 29 points and 14 rebounds, with support from Robin Lopez (14 points, 15 rebounds) Damian Lillard (17 points) and Mo Williams (16 points, 5 assists).
First Half: The Blazers never bothered to come out of the locker room. Before the fans could settle into their seats, Philly pulled out to a 15 point lead, and the Blazers simply couldn't put the ball in the hoop. Portland's sloppiness led to turnover after turnover, and the Sixers happily took advantage, pushing away each Blazer comeback attempt. Down by 13 heading into the second quarter, Lillard helped cut the deficit to single digits with a three-pointer. And suddenly, Mo Williams came to life. Despite a few unforced errors, he sparked a huge Blazer run to tie the game at 47 with 3 minutes left. 90 seconds later, Aldridge's jumper gave the Blazers the lead. But the sloppy play returned, and Philly kept the lead at halftime.
Philadelphia 52, Portland 50
If I pretend that 1st never happened, does that mean it never happened?
Third Quarter: A very different start from the first. Portland quickly jumped ahead, using Philly's sloppy play to gain a 6 point lead. But the Sixers tied it up in short order, then took the lead after consecutive Blazer turnovers. Portland turned the table during more frenetic play, taking a 5 point lead. The Blazers finally slowed into a half-court offense, and pulled ahead by 9 in a hurry, holding Philly at bay to close the quarter.
Portland 76, Philadelphia 69
I don't think I have ever seen so much contact not being called in a Blazers game. On both the Blazers and 76ers.
Fourth Quarter: Portland promptly gave up a free layup 10 seconds into the quarter, and they cut the lead to 1 within 2 minutes. Two minutes after that, Portland rebuild the lead to 7 with Aldridge on the bench. Philly turned up the defense, the Blazers continued to miss three-pointers, and when Evan Turner hit a turnaround jumper, they stayed within 2 with six minutes left.
Do we have to have all these heart attack games?
Out of the timeout, Aldridge missed a layup, but Philly didn't, and the game was tied. Lopez missed a two footer, but Hawes made one at the other end for the lead. Another Blazer miss led to a Philly layup for a 4 point lead, as the crowd groaned. Lillard turned it over and Philly scored on the break, and the crowd groaned louder. Matthews missed a three-pointer in response. It was a 13 point run for Philly, and a brutal stretch for Portland. Matthews hit free throws, followed by Lillard, to cut the Philly lead to 2 with three minute left. After the Blazer D forced a Sixer turnover, Lopez was fouled on an offensive rebound, and tied the game at the line. But a Batum foul before the inbound pass gave Philly the lead again. Lillard and Batum missed opportunities at the 2 minute mark, and on a broken play Matthews was fouled... and tossed in a bank shot! He unfortunately missed the free throw. Now tied, Philly scored with a tough layup to regain the lead. As the clock ticked under one minute, the Blazers nearly turned it over, but Lopez headed to the foul line and hit both to tie it up. Portland forced a Philly miss... but they tipped it in to regain the lead with 36 seconds left. Matthews was fouled, but missed the second free throw with 22 seconds left. Philly hit one free throw for a 2 point lead, but the rebound bounced out of bounds off Lopez, giving the ball back to the Sixers. Spencer Hawes hit both free throws for a 4 point lead with 19 seconds left. Aldridge quickly scored, then Philly restored the lead to 4 with 14 seconds left. Portland hit another layup, and Lopez stole the inbound pass! Blazer timeout with 5 seconds left, down 2. Lillard had a shot at a layup, but missed it, and Portland came up short in a game they expected to win
The Blazers get some more rest, with two full days off before they play Tuesday in Sacramento. In the meantime, Dave and Ben have much more from this game later tonight. -- Tim
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