It was crystal clear in the first half of tonight’s 93-88 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers that the Trail Blazers we’re going to need a big spark in the second half to stay in the game. Luckily for them, and the Rose Garden faithful, it came, and it came in thrilling fashion.
With just under ten minutes to go in the 3rd quarter Damian Lillard dished a fast break pass to JJ Hickson which he finished with a MASSIVE two-handed jam right over the top of Alonzo Gee.
Check it out.
That play was the spark and the Trail Blazers were off to the races to erase a 19-point deficit and make it a game, though they fell short.
Here’s what Hickson and a few other guys had to say about the importance of those energy plays tonight and every other game:
JJ Hickson on what he was thinking during his monster dunk over Alonzo Gee
“I hope he jumps, which he did.” [laughs] “When you run down the court that fast you have all the momentum and if you’re athletic and you can jump a guy really doesn’t have a chance, he’s backing up and you have all the momentum going forward and he jumped, and I finished the play. I feel like that play kinda got us locked into the game and we came back.
“I think that this team feeds off my energy, not just mine, but everybody. Whenever someone makes a great play the crowd feeds of it, we feed off it and it gets us going.”
Damian Lillard on energy plays to propel the team to success
“I think those are energy plays. Transition dunks, alley-oops, JJ getting offensive rebounds, I think it hypes us up. He had a nice dunk tonight and we got going because of that.
“For a guy like JJ, if he gets a dunk then he might chase down the next rebound and want another dunk, so those types of plays really help us.”
Wesley Matthews on big plays
“Plays like that happen all the time in the game. It’s a momentum swing. The crowd gets into it, it gives us a second wind and the other team gets deflated. Big plays like that are huge and we got to capitalize on them.”
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