The Portland Trail Blazers blew open a close game with a huge second quarter run, coasting to a 12-point victory against the Sacramento Kings. However, Marcus Camby left the game early with a mild groin strain, and his status is unknown.
The player of the game was clearly a red-hot Jamal Crawford (26 points, 5 assists), helped by the returning Gerald Wallace (20 points, 8 rebounds). Wesley Matthews added 14 points, while Raymond Felton and Craig Smith had solid games.. LaMarcus Aldridge, who was in foul trouble from nearly the opening tip, scored 13 points with 16 rebounds. Most members of the team played less than 30 minutes apiece.
The first quarter started in similar fashion to the road trip. Sacramento jumped ahead, while the Blazers were in foul trouble. Aldridge, Camby, Craig Smith and Kurt Thomas all sat on the bench with two fouls. Both teams looked lost on offense, leading to a standstill after one. Then the Blazers went nuts. They turned up the defensive heat in the second quarter, with Wallace and Crawford leading 20-2 run for a 20 point lead. But a Tyreke Evans half-court heave cut the lead to 15 at the half.
As the second half began, Sacramento wanted to make a push. But the Blazers held their ground, causing the lead to fluctuate between 13 and 20 points before settling at 18. With defense leading to breaks for both teams, it was the most exciting boring quarter you'll ever see. As a bonus, Wesley Matthews showed signs of improvement in his three point stroke, hitting two.
It's the NBA, so Sacramento was due for a run, and they did just that to start the fourth, cutting the lead from 22 to 13 in about a minute. However, LaMarcus Aldridge returned to stem the tide, which left the fans waiting for their hero, Luke Babbitt, to hit the three pointer that pushed the team over the century mark. Cue the buzzer and streamers.
Check out the box score and hang out here to discuss the game. Stay tuned for Dave's recap and Ben's media row report. We're right back here tomorrow night against Memphis! -- Tim