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Top 10 Moments of the 2013-14 Portland Trail Blazers Season

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If you don't know what #1 is, please let me be the first to welcome you back into the country after your three-month trip.

Steve Dykes

The 2013-14 Portland Trail Blazers season will be written about for years, as a team often predicted to finish in the lottery instead took the NBA by storm. In the end, the only team that could stop them was the eventual NBA Champions. Let's look back at some of the best moments along the way!

10. Kings vs. Blazers: Dorell Wright Saves The Day

Live Gameday Thread Reaction | Recap

There's no denying that the Blazers went through a rough stretch in the second half of the season. On April 9th, it seemed like another one of those nights, as the injury-plagued Sacramento Kings gave the Blazers everything they could take, clinging to a late 2-point lead. Portland put the ball into Lillard's hands, which led to a drive-and-dish to Dorell Wright, with the game on the line.

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9. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge: 2014 All-Stars

In 1994, Clyde Drexler and Cliff Robinson made the All-Star Team together. For the next 20 years, the Blazers had one participant (namely, Aldridge, Brandon Roy, or Rasheed Wallace), or none. But after a shockingly fast start to the season, the Blazers were rewarded with two spots, and Lillard was in every major event over the weekend. Neither Blazer played long minutes in the big game, but each had their moments to shine.

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8. Game 4: Wesley Matthews steals the ball from Patrick Beverley

Live Gameday Thread Reaction | Recap

You could fill an entire "Top 10 Moments" list from the epic first round matchup between the Rockets and the Blazers. Game 4 felt like the game that would never end. After the Blazers stole two in Houston, the Rockets were attempting to return the favor, as they again went into overtime. Portland held a late lead, but could not put the Rockets away. Finally, with the game on the line, Patrick Beverley charged up court... but never saw Wesley Matthews until it was too late. The crowd erupted, and the steal gave Portland a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

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7. Indy and OKC Learn These Blazers Are Legit!

Recap

The 2013-14 Blazers were known for their roller-coaster tendencies. Despite a recent confidence-building win (which is later in the countdown), they had just suffered an ugly loss in Phoenix, and followed it up with a win in Los Angeles that featured two blown leads. So everyone was a little concerned when Indiana and Oklahoma City were visiting Portland in back to back games. After the Blazers withstood an insane Paul George barrage to win the first game, they used an MVP performance from Aldridge (38 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists) and a clutch three-pointer from Nicolas Batum to complete the unlikely two-game sweep, wrest control of the Western #1 seed, and establish the Blazers' legitimacy across the NBA.

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6. Blazers vs. Pistons: "Damian Lillard, how dare you!"

Live Gameday Thread Reaction | Recap | Brian Wheeler's Call (with above quote)

During an East Coast road trip, the Detroit Pistons gave the Portland Trail Blazers all they could handle. The tired Blazers trailed all night, but they made a harried comeback down the stretch. And in return, Damian Lillard gave the Pistons something they couldn't handle.

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5. Blazers vs. Cavs: "Are you kidding me?"

Live Gameday Thread Reaction | Recap

Two days after the Detroit game, a tired Blazers team is yet again trying to hold off a valiant effort by their opponent. This time, the Cleveland Cavaliers played Portland to a standstill as the clock wound down. However, the ball was in the more-than-capable hands of one Damian Lillard. Again.

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4. Blazers vs. Warriors: Andrew Bogut Pokes The Sleeping Bear

Live Gameday Thread Reaction | Recap

Early in the season, the Blazers surprising the entire NBA. But around Portland, it was hard to ignore the question: "Is this a mirage? Are they just feeding on bad teams, and will fall apart when the opposition is better?". On November 24th, a tired Blazer team arrived in Oakland to play in their own "house of horrors", the Oracle Arena, against the Golden State Warriors. And much like previous games, the Warriors swatted the Blazers back, looking at a relatively easy victory. But Andrew Bogut took it a step too far. His elbow of Joel Freeland started a scrum that forced Matthews and Mo Williams to the locker room (though, hilariously, not Bogut himself, who would get suspended the next day). This woke up the moribund Blazers, who simply took over with stifling defense. Aldridge had 31 points, 20 rebounds 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks, and Portland won their 10th in a row.

The Blazers reportedly had a "euphoria type celebration" in the locker room, and the feeling was similar amongst the fans, leading to the first ever Blazer's Edge Rec Party Green-Out in the comments. The fight didn't just spark a win, it sparked a new level of hope for the fans.

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3. Game 1: LaMarcus Aldridge Destroys The Rockets

Recap

This is a 2-for-1 entry, since both plays were indelible moments in the same game. In Game 1 of the Rockets/Blazers first round series, Houston had no answer for Aldridge. In the first play, the Blazers were down 2 with 7 seconds left. Matthews shot a three-pointer and missed, then Lillard missed a tip. But Aldridge was there, with the tip to tie the game and send it to overtime. In the second moment, Houston already led by 6 in overtime. Aldridge ended up with the ball at the three-point line on a broken play, guarded by Dwight Howard. He launched the three. Swish, as Dwight's shoulders slumped when he realized Aldridge was unstoppable. And for one series, so were the Blazers.

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2. Thomas Robinson Demoralizes Corey Brewer: "That is one of the greatest blocks in Blazer history."

Live Gameday Thread Reaction

After the torrid start, the Blazers slowed down in February against tougher competition. As the bench sputtered, it became tougher for the starters to continually pick up the slack. But sometimes the bench comes through. And on a cold February evening against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Thomas Robinson, Wesley Matthews and Will Barton combined for an unforgettable moment.

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1. Game 6: "IT'S LILLARD, HE GOT THE SHOT OFF ... OH MY GOD!"

Live Gameday Thread Reaction | Recap

Was there ever a doubt?

After six playoff games full of haymakers and heartbreakers, Chandler Parsons gave the Houston Rockets a 2 point lead with 0.9 seconds left. Both Blazers and Rockets fans knew this game wasn't over, as Brandon Roy burned Houston with a miracle three pointer in around the same amount of time. If the Rockets held on, they'd bounce back from losing the first two home games, and would get a chance to win the series in a Game 7 at home. They just needed to survive 0.9 more seconds. And it seemed so unlikely that a miracle would happen again. Right?

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BONUS: As I was writing this, the NBA posted their Top 10 Plays of the Portland Trail Blazers regular season. Enjoy!