Back on Track in Sac
Following the last two home games, the Trail Blazers badly needed this victory. I suppose that’s pretty obvious. They got the win, despite a very good night offensively for the Sacramento Kings, who were coming off a nice win over the Clippers, and were just days removed from a win at Orlando.
On the day LaMarcus Aldridge was named the Western Conference Player of the Month for February, he had probably the biggest shot of the night, in an otherwise tough second half for him. All was well at halftime, but Aldridge missed 7 of 8 shots before drilling a long jumper from the top of the key to make it a three possession game, and help the Blazers to their 107-102 win. He ended with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Wesley Matthews also got back on track with countless hustle plays, on a night his team needed every single one. Matthews had 21 points, five assists, three steals, and was 8 for 12 from the field.
And, the integration of Gerald Wallace into the fold took another step in the right direction. Wallace was also all over the floor in this game, and ended with 12 points and five rebounds. He also had a monster dunk, during an 11-2 Portland run late in the game. Matthews created a turnover, and lobbed to Wallace in the lane.
I mentioned this on the broadcast late in the game, but don’t forget about what Patty Mills did in this game off the bench. Playing without Rudy Fernandez, who tried to give it a go before the game before being sent to the locker room with a bad case of the flu, the Blazers were in need of some offensive punch from the second unit. Mills supplied that, scoring 14 points on six of eight shooting, in his 14 minutes. It was the most productive night for Patty in over a month, and Nate McMillan certainly noticed. He has said lately, that regardless of what he does with the rotation in coming days, Patty will be a part of it.
The Kings got a great night from DeMarcus Cousins, who tied his career high of 28 points. Also off the bench, they got 26 from Marcus Thorton. But, it wasn’t enough, even though the Kings shot 53 percent from the field. Yes, that’s a bit of a concern, seeing how Houston shot 58 percent at the Rose Garden on Tuesday. Just too many open shots for the opponent, once again.
To listen to post-game comments from McMillan, click here
The Trail Blazers improved to 34-27, and had the scoreboard work out in their favor on this night, as Houston, Phoenix, and New Orleans all lost. It’s not too early to scoreboard watch, and we do that just about every single night.
It’s back home now for a Saturday night game against Joel Przybilla and the Charlotte Bobcats (wow, that sounds strange). Then, we’ll leave early Sunday morning for Florida and the big four-game road trip that will take us to Orlando, Miami, Charlotte, and Atlanta.