With injuries to LaMarcus Aldridge, Joel Freeland, Thomas Robinson, and Meyers Leonard, the Blazers banded together and played a true team effort tonight. They were led by two bench players, Mo Williams (21 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds) and the red-hot Will Barton (20 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists), with support from Nicolas Batum (19 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals) and Damian Lillard (14 points) .
In postgame comments, Mike Barrett stated that the Blazers hope to have both Aldridge and Leonard back for Saturday night's game.
First Quarter: The Blazers came out strong, opening an early 13-6 lead, making the Nets look old and slow. But the Nets stayed close, helped when Paul Pierce accidentally took out Matthews' knee in the back court. As Victor Claver came in to play center, the Blazers responded unexpectedly, going on a run to take a 9 point lead after one.
Portland 29, Brooklyn 20
I'm really liking Claver a lot, although he's offensively is very limited man, he does a lot of things that help. His defense is probably one of the best on the team so far too
Second Quarter: Rough start to the quarter, as after 5 minutes, Portland had outscored Brooklyn, 6-4. It looked like we were in for another long--
Will Barton interrupts this recap to remind everyone he's ready to play. As the Nets looked slow and ill-prepared, Barton took over the game, with highlight dunks, passes, and even a block. With the rest of the Blazers, both bench and starters, heating up behind him, the Nets never knew what hit them. The Blazers scored the last 11 points of the half, to give them their largest halftime lead of the season.
Portland 58, Brooklyn 34
I like Kidd but he should not be a HC this early. They should be killing down low with their height but they want to match jumpers for jumpers. Bad coaching.
Third Quarter: The Nets came out of the locker room with a renewed effort on defense, continuing to focus on stopping Lillard, and they succeeded. Well, if you count "cut the 24 point lead down to 23" as succeeding. The Blazers responded with great play at both ends, with Batum initiating the offense nicely. Brooklyn called timeout when they quickly fell behind by 29. He went to the bench out of the timeout, who brought more energy and closed the gap to 21 again. Blazers Coach Terry Stotts responded by bringing in his bench, and the hybrid lineup responded by settling the game down, holding a comfortable lead heading into the fourth.
Portland 82, Brooklyn 59
They were only able to shave 1 point off that 24 point halftime lead that quarter, so I’d say that was a successful quarter
Fourth Quarter: The Nets made three quick three-pointers to open the fourth quarter, but looked up to see the Blazer lead still at 23. The Nets put on their best effort, but when Barton drove and dished to Claver for a layup, Portland led by 31. Stotts probably looked to clear the bench, only to realize it was nearly empty already. He brought in Allen Crabbe and Earl Watson, and both the fans and the starters relaxed and enjoyed a fun stretch of bench play to close the game, including three-pointers from both CJ McCollum and Victor Claver.
Will Barton and Mo Williams (combined $3.5 million salary) have outscored Nets starters (combined $68.6 million salary), 37-35.— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 27, 2014
Some rest and hopefully injury recovery for the Blazers, as they hang out in Portland until a Saturday night game versus the same Denver Nuggets we saw yesterday, expect maybe with Ty Lawson.
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night:
Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's Gameday Thread! As always, here are the most popular comments, based on the number of Rec's from their fellow fans: