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Game 75 Recap: Blazers 91, L*kers 104

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Well, this game was about what we expected.  We shot the long ball extremely well in the first quarter and we had a couple of nice runs and 5-6 great individual plays through the course of the game, but let's face it...the L*kers were toying with us.  Kobe Bryant had enough behind-the-back passes and razor's edge tips to fill up half a season.  He might as well have been wearing a sign that said "Threat Level:  Negligible".  And it pretty much was.  We made that late-game run to cut the lead to 7 before Kobe himself stepped in.  It was like a dad letting his kid catch up in a footrace before he turned on the "Papa stride" and showed him he wasn't quite up to beating the old man yet.  Maybe we can shove some of that back in their faces when we play them at home next week.  Until then it's pretty hard to take this game too much to heart.

All in all this was a pretty basic loss.  We shot a low-end-acceptable percentage and allowed them to shoot near 50%.  We were -11 at the free throw line.  We couldn't outrebound them or force more turnovers and the point margin from our extra four three-pointers weren't enough to make a difference.  Add in a sub-par performance by our main guy and we never had a chance.

By the way, have you ever seen such a collection of bored faces as you saw on the Blazer bench tonight?  Scary.

Individual Notes

--Lamarcus Aldridge's 4-15 shooting was the most glaring individual stat on the board.  He did grab 12 rebounds but shooting 27% on a night when he was supposed to drive the train (and against relatively weak frontcourt defenders) isn't going to get it done.

--Our other two forwards provided many of the spectacular moments of the evening.  Travis Outlaw and Martell Webster each scored 23.  Both were aggressive attacking on offense.  Travis tried pretty hard on the other end of the floor too.  (We won't mention Martell...)  Trout drew 8 foul shots.  Martell was 6-9 from distance.   Our prayers would really be answered if either one of them could become a consistent 18-point scorer.

--Joel Przybilla had a rare (of late) average night with 7 rebounds in 26 minutes.  He got in early foul trouble.  Though he kept his nose clean for the rest of the game and had spurts of effectiveness he never seemed to find his groove.

--Steve Blake had 12 points and 10 assists and shot well at 5-11.  He had an uncharacteristic 4 turnovers but our entire offense was a little bit wonky tonight.  We put all of our point guards in situations where they had to do uncomfortable things.

--Hey!  Sergio Rodriguez was the player of the night off the bench!  He really pushed the tempo in the first half and seemed effortless in his movement and decisions.  He earned some rare second-half playing time too and even though that didn't quite reach the level of his first stint it was still a very good night for him overall.  He had 7 points on 3-5 shooting and made the L*kers play.

--The rest of our bench doesn't merit much of a mention.  Four other guys besides Sergio played and these were their combined stats:

56 minutes,  13 points, 6-21 shooting, 1-6 three-point shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 7 fouls

That wasn't much help.

One-Sentence Game Summary:


--Dave (