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Top 10 Trail Blazers games of the 2010s

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Oops, make that eleven. From Roy to Batum to Aldridge to Lillard to Nurkic. Relive the wildest Blazers games of the decade.

NBA: Playoffs-Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Roy and the Portland Trail Blazers made an appearance on ESPN’s list of the top eight games of the decade. No surprise — ESPN chose the unforgettable game 4 vs. the Mavericks from 2011.

But with all due respect to Brandon, I tend to agree with Blazer’s Edge stalwart Timmay! on this one. That was not the best Blazers game of the decade:

With that in mind, I compiled my personal list of the top ten Blazers game from the last ten seasons. I arbitrarily set the following limits/rules so that the list doesn’t balloon to 20+ games and so that each era is fairly represented:

  • Blazers wins only
  • Only a single game from any given playoff series (i.e. forty percent of the list won’t be the 2014 series vs. the Rockets).
  • Only one game from any given regular season.
  • Nothing from 2011-12 season because that season sucked.
  • This is my personal list so high quality basketball will generally — but not always — win out over blowouts or games that are symbolically fun (e.g. passing on the Dec. 26, 2015 game vs. the Cavaliers).

Here are my choices in chronological order

Christmas night 2009 vs. Nuggets

Box score

Coming off a 54-win season in 2009 the Blazers struggled to integrate newcomer Andre Miller during the early part of the season. It felt like that all changed on Christmas when Roy outdueled Carmelo Anthony in front of a raucous Rose Garden crowd. You’ll be forgiven for assuming the Blazers were set up for a contender run immediately after this game. I want to live in Christmas 2009 forever.

March 25, 2011 vs. San Antonio Spurs

Box score

One of the wildest finishes you’ll ever see. Wes Matthews picks Manu Ginobili’s pocket and Nic Batum scores four points in less than a second to absolutely steal one.

April 23, 2011 First Round Game 4 vs. Mavericks.

Box score.

What more needs to be said about this one?

Dec. 2, 2013 vs. Pacers

Box Score

You could choose any number of games from the 2013-14 season and not be wrong. This game against the Pacers, highlighted by thwarting a furious comeback attempt from Paul George, stands out because it’s the moment many of us realized the 2013-14 Blazers, against all preseason odds, might be legit contenders.

Honorable mention: Blazers vs. Warriors April 13, 2014

April 27, 2014: First Round Game 4 vs. Rockets

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I’m going to go against the grain here and choose game four of the Rockets series rather than game six, but you could choose any of the four Blazers victories and not be wrong. It’s one of the best preliminary series of all time.

March 4, 2015 vs. Clippers

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Lillard scores only 5 points on 1-for-13 shooting (also...18 rebounds???) but Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge still carry the Blazers to victory. From the brief window in time when the Arron Afflalo trade looked like the original Rodney Hood trade. Also, we got this .gif:

Jan. 10, 2016 vs. Thunder

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We all knew Lillard was special but damn. Seventeen points in three minutes.

April 8, 2017 vs. Jazz

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From my postgame recap:

[Lillard] singlehandedly led the Blazers to victory from wire-to-wire against a team that had thoroughly outclassed them only a few days ago. Outscoring your teammates by 17 is no joke, and scoring 45 points through three quarters to your opponent’s 60 is downright Chamberlain-esque. Add in the fact that this game moved the Blazers within inches of a fourth consecutive playoff berth, and it becomes one of the great regular season performances in team history.

Honorable mention: Nurk fever. Pick a game.

Jan. 1, 2019 vs. Kings

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My own arbitrary rules prevented me from including a Nurk fever game on the list, so here’s an appropriate replacement: the night Jusuf Nurkic put up the first ever recorded 20-point, 20-rebound 5x5. Eat your heart out Nikola Jokic.

April 23, 2019: First Round Game 5 vs. Thunder

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Series winning walk-offs are exceedingly rare in NBA history and only two players have more than one to their name. This one has to go on the list.

May 3, 2019: Conference Semi-finals Game 3 vs. Nuggets

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Quadruple overtime playoff game. It still doesn’t sound real. Probably because it hadn’t happened since the Eisenhower administration. To say the Blazers had a memorable playoff run this year is something of an understatement:

Given the circumstances, you’ll have to forgive me for including eleven games in my top ten list. ;-)


What are your ten favorite Blazers games from the last ten seasons? Let us know in the comments!