What an ending. The Blazers spent the whole night trailing the Rockets, but kept things interesting. Without the injured Damian Lillard, Moe Harkless and Ed Davis, Portland went into garbage-time mode in the middle of the fourth. In response, the Blazers bench ripped off 17 straight points to tie the game with seconds left. Chris Paul’s layup with 0.8 seconds left saved Houston’s bacon, giving them a 96-94 win in what otherwise might have been an embarrassing defeat.
With the loss, Portland did not help seal the third seed, but will get more opportunities. In the meantime, here are a few thoughts from tonight’s throwaway game:
- No Lillard, Mo Problems. No surprise that the Blazers struggled without their fearless leader at the point. Napier handled the role well, but struggled to score against Houston’s defense. Portland fell behind by 20 before the shocking late comeback.
- Unhappy Landings for Pat. Connaughton took a rough tumble late, getting off-balance in the air and landing on his chest. He claims to be ok, but will surely get checked after the game.
- The Best Baldwin. Wade Baldwin hit 6-of-10 from the field for 14 points on a night where Portland struggled to find any scoring at all. He has made the most of his limited opportunities this season, helping lead the Blazers in their late comeback.
- Welcome to the Blazers, Georgios Papagiannis! The Blazers’ recent signee got his first minutes in the red and black.
The Blazers finish their Texas Three-Step in San Antonio, where the Spurs have been pushing to steal the third seed from the Blazers... by losing to both the Lakers and Clippers this week. Let’s all limp to the finish line.