Well, that was way too close for comfort. The Blazers turn on the afterburners late to hold off the Nets, 96-89. Portland only showed intensity for short stretches, but one of those was late in the fourth, when New Jersey was caught unprepared for a defensive stand. In thirty seconds, the Blazers stole the ball on three consecutive possessions to seal the victory.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and two of those three late steals. Nicolas Batum scored a season-high 23, plus 6 boards. Wesley Matthews didn't fill the scoring column, but had a few big defensive plays down the stretch. In his Portland return, Travis Outlaw finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
This isn't the kind of win to inspire much confidence, but Portland needed a victory, and played well enough to get it. Hang out here to discuss the win, and stay tuned for Dave and Ben later. -- Tim