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Final: Blazers Burn the Pacers, 106-102

In an instant classic, the Portland Trail Blazers absorbed every shot the Indiana Pacers could offer, responding with a few haymakers of their own to beat the best team in the NBA.

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Damian Lillard's 26 points. Wesley Matthews added 15 points, Mo Williams had a big night off the bench with 13 points when the Blazers needed them.

Box Score

First Quarter: Paul George hot early, Indy playing hard at both ends, Portland missing a lot of shots. After a rough previous game, Mo Williams had a better start to this game, hitting for 5 early points. The Blazers held their own against Indy, and kept the game close after a quarter.

Indiana 23, Portland 20

Pacers are pushing the Blazers outside their comfortable spots. Gotta hand it to them.
by T Darkstar

Second Quarter: Thomas Robinson has a good stretch, as the Blazers bench kept the game close only one game after a brutal run. The Pacers just couldn't push the lead past 5 points, as the Blazers dug in on defense, and Indy missed shots. After the holding pattern by the bench, the starters returned to try to close the gap late, and Batum's three-pointer cut the deficit to one.

Indiana 46, Portland 45

I'm happy with that half. We arent getting blown out, it's still our game to win. If we made some of those open easy shots we'd be leading by a lot.
by cavejunctionblazer

Third Quarter: The Pacers often try to make their move in the third quarter, and tonight was no exception, as they slowed down the Blazers while pulling ahead by 8 at the halfway point. But they couldn't pull away, as a hybrid of Blazers starters and bench turned up the heat on the Pacers, and a nice pass from Batum to Joel Freeland led to a dunk and a tie game as the clock wound down! The teams went to the final quarter with nothing settled.

Indiana 72, Portland 72

Hey Nate! Scrappy enough for ya?
by occassia

Fourth Quarter: The Pacers start with a steal, but couldn't take advantage, and Lillard swished a three to give the Blazers the lead! And as the defense held back Indiana, Mo Williams hit consecutive shots to give the Blazers a 7 point lead. The Pacers took a timeout, and the crowd went nuts. But Indiana doesn't have the best record in the league for no reason, as they scored inside to stay close, but Matthews responded by swishing his first three-pointer of the game! But fouls were being called by the bucketful on both teams, and the game slowed into a free throw shooting contest. With 5 minutes left and the Blazers leading by 6, Lillard returned to complete the starting 5 again. The Pacers immediately made their push, cutting the lead to 4 on a layup. But at the other end, an angry Lance Stephenson fouled out after fighting Lopez for a loose ball. Indiana scored on consecutive possessions to cut the lead to 3 with less than four minutes left, and both teams braced for a crazy finish.

After Aldridge swished two free throws, Lillard did the same. But the Pacers won a loose ball under their hoop, and a George Hill three-pointer cut the lead back down to 4 with 2:48 left. Roy Hibbert fouled Aldridge, who hit swished two more free throws, but Paul George got open from downtown, and swished it. Now up by three, Aldridge took a tough turnaround... swish! Up by 5 with two minutes left. At the other end, with the shot clock winding down, George took a contested three... and hit it anyway. At the other end, Lillard had the same contested three against the shot clock... AND SWISHED IT! The Blazers led by 5 with one minute left! With 38 seconds left, after almost turning the ball over, Indiana called a timeout.

Indiana got the ball to David West for a jumper that bounced off the back of the rim. Every single player crashed the boards... and the ball came to Lillard, who got the ball to Batum for a foul. After he hit two free throws with 24 seconds left, the Pacers reached desperation mode, down 7 points. George immediately took a tough three.. and hit it. They then stole the inbound pass! George took another three... and missed it! Lillard got the rebound and headed to the line. Swish. Swish. Indiana took a timeout, and George hit yet another three with 9 seconds left. Wow. Batum went to the line in response, and hit one. Indy was out of miracles. And now the entire league knows about the Blazers.

What's Next:

After nearly a full month of playing in a new city for each game, the Blazers finally have a home stand, but it won't be easy. It continues Wednesday, as OKC comes into town. In the meantime, stay tuned later for analysis from Dave, and Ben's Media Row Report. -- Tim

Comments of the night!

Thanks to everyone who participates in our nightly Gameday Threads! I always quote a few favorites in the recap, but for a little extra fun, these were the most popular comments of the night based on number of recs:

# Recs Commenter Comment Link
22 Timmay! I loved titling this post "The Top Two teams play tonight".
10 thankyouforblaze [no title]
8 Mantre7179 Go Blazers!!!!!!!
5 tiedyesteve Go Trailblazers!!!!!!!
5 thankyouforblaze [no title]
5 Arby Go Portland Trail Blazers!!!!!!!!
5 Idog1976 The Pacers will need a pacemaker
4 stevedan A Blazers-Pacers finals this year would be
4 Mortimer Stay limber and always be ready is all you can do
4 occassia [no title]
4 bustabucket Go Blazers!
4 williamswonder Go Portland Trail Blazers, leaders of the Western Conference!!!!
4 jkimva703 When we win..
3 Y5k Confused, Contorted, and constipated!
3 SlickRick1987 What a fantastic contest
3 thankyouforblaze aaaaaaand Utah beat the Rockets
3 mittsabishy 2 soon
3 colbymac I'm so excited!!!
3 ozqb3 What's an Orlando Johnson and why did it just hit that?
3 jkimva703 Yup
3 jkimva703 Overdue
3 Biph I had a Laker Fan last year tell me he wished LA went after Melo rather than CP3 or Dwight
3 annthefan Go Trail Blazers!!
3 Blazing Chargers Go Portland Trail Blazers!!!
3 Mortimer If we lose it's cuz you did that
3 ParticleAccelerator "The Mason Jar"
3 SlimSteve Go Paul Allen Sports Teams!