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Trail Blazers Fans Storm the Moda Center for Fan Fest 2014

Notes and observations from the Moda Center on the night of Trail Blazers Fan Fest, 2014.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Thousands of passionate Trail Blazers fans packed the Moda Center and the surrounding area for Fan Fest 2014 on Sunday night. The season starting over three weeks away did not stop the arena from being almost entirely full for a scrimmage.

Fan excitement at the event was at an extreme high with reminders of Portland's strong performance last season firing the fans for the start of the new year. The cheers reached a fevered pitch for Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge's introductions, but the arena nearly exploded when the fans welcomed back Steve Blake.

Aldridge and Lillard led the black team for the scrimmage, along with C.J. McCollum, Chris Kaman, Will Barton, Joel Freeland, Victor Claver, Diante Garrett and James Southerland to face the white squad, led by Nicolas, Batum, Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez.

The teams started slowly, with defense ruling the first half. Nicolas Batum converted two steals into uncontested dunks. Robin Lopez and Meyers Leonard showed strong interior defense and the white squad went into halftime leading 19-15.

While this may have been just a scrimmage, Lillard came out for the second half with the intention of walking away the winner. Held scoreless in the first half, Lillard exploded for 13 in the third quarter on 5-of-6 shooting, on his way 19 for the night. Barton added 12 and McCollum had 9 as the black team outscored the white team 49-24 in the second half for a 64-43 win. Lopez had 11 points to lead the white team, and Leonard finished with 9 points and 11 rebounds in the effort.

The fans voted on Twitter to award the MVP, giving it in a near unanimous decision to Lillard for his strong second-half performance. While Lillard got the hardware, the moment of the game came with under ten seconds remaining when Barton brought the fans out of their seats for a between the legs, 360 dunk on a fast-break.

While the big name players ruled the spotlight, the three newest members of the Blazers impressed. Garrett had 7 points on 3-of-5 shooting, Southerland had strong moments both on offense and defense, especially on the glass, and Darius Morris showed a high level of athleticism in 1-on-1 situations, running the offense with efficiency in relief of Blake.