A night after struggling with their outside shots, getting pounded
on the boards, and setting an all-time record for fewest assists in a
game, the Trail Blazers managed a complete recovery and posted one of
their more important wins of the season. The fact that the Blazers won
in Miami should have surprised absolutely no one, as their all-time
record in this city is amazing. They're now 17-5 all time versus the
Heat in Miami.
On Saturday in Orlando, the
Trail Blazers led throughout most of the first three quarters. But,
after a Magic run that started during the final play of the third
quarter, the Blazers couldn't pick themselves up in time to recover.
Nothing was falling from the field, and they faded badly in the fourth.
Sunday night, thing looked to be setting up the same way.
through the third quarter, the Blazers were down six and fired back
with an 18-2 run. That gave them a 10-point lead. But, Miami then
quickly answered with a 17-2 run to rebuild a five-point lead. Unlike
the Orlando game, Portland wasn't going anywhere.
in the fourth, the Blazers strapped a saddle on Brandon Roy and he led
them on a 10-0 run. The capper was a dagger three-point bomb with 28
seconds left, that beat the shot clock, and gave the Blazers a 99-92
lead. The went on to win it 102-95, ending the game on a 13-3 run.
that was missing came back in this game. LaMarcus Aldridge was
aggressive, and got the team off to a fast start. He finished with 23
points and 8 rebounds. Martell Webster hit three three-pointers, and
ended with 15 points. And, Andre Miller, who was the hot Blazer during
the big third-quarter run, finished with 17 points.
once again give Joel Przybilla big props for his effort against the
Heat. He scored 8 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and blocked four shots
(including the incredible block on Wade that you can see in the photo
above, which was a momentum changer).
poking through the wreckage of the Saturday loss to Orlando, we talked
about how sometimes it's as simple as not making open shots. That
sounds obvious, but often times everyone digs too deep when looking for
explanations following a loss. Sunday, it was just a matter of Portland
shooting 51 percent, going an astounding 11 for 19 from three-point
range. And, after getting out rebounded 54-35 by Orlando, the Blazers
out rebounded Miami 38-28.
Now, back to Roy.
This was perhaps his most dominating performance of the season. The
Heat continually doubled him to try and get the ball out of his hands.
That's nothing new. Because of this, Brandon's shots were limited. But,
he made the most of his attempts. He ended with 28 points, 8 assists,
and 4 rebounds. The incredible part of this is that he scored those 28
points while taking only 14 shots. By comparison, Dwyane Wade needed 31
shots to get his 28 points.
Roy has got to be
the leading candidate for Western Conference Player of the Week honors.
In the four games this week, Roy led his team to a 3-1 record,
including wins over Miami and Phoenix. He averaged 28 points per game,
shot 52 percent from the field, and 47 percent from behind the
three-point line. Of course, the week was capped with an all-star
caliber effort against the previously red-hot Heat.
this game, all this all happened with Miami shooting a very high
percentage, and playing a very clean game. The Heat suffered only 7
turnovers on the night, and shot 49 percent overall, including 8 for 16
from behind the three-point line. And, keep in mind, this was the same
Miami team that roughed up Orlando 104-86 in their last game.
don't get easier during this stretch. Monday we'll fly to Dallas and
get set to battle the Mavericks on Tuesday. Dallas, playing without
Dirk Nowitzki on Sunday, took care of the Cavaliers and will come into
the Portland game riding high. Then, the trip wraps up in San Antonio
To listen to Nate McMillan's post-game comments following the win over Miami, click here