The Portland Trail Blazers face the Los Angeles Lakers at the Moda Center with control of their 2020-21 playoffs race on the line. The winner of the game will hold the playoffs seeding tiebreaker against the other, gaining both a tangible and an emotional advantage. But that’s not the only reason this game matters.
Blazers vs. Lakers is the first home game Portland will play this year with fans in attendance. The state has allowed the Moda Center to open at 10% capacity for Blazers games, meaning roughly 2000 live participants will witness the tilt.
Portland players picked up on the emotion of the moment as they walked on the floor for pre-game warm-ups. Any businesslike demeanor went out the window as, to a man, they galloped, cavorted, clapped, and raised their hands in glee to the assembled crowd. It was more reminiscent of opening night than the 67th game of the year.
NBCSports Northwest tweeted video of the moment. Enjoy.