Huge Road Win Over Defending Champs
Over the last few weeks the Portland Trail Blazers have won some games, but they hadn’t picked up that big victory over a top team to propel them moving forward.
Portland 99, Dallas 97
When: 8:30 PM ET, Friday, April 6, 2012
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Officials: #19 James Capers, #16 David Guthrie, #68 Marat Kogut
They took care of that last night with a huge win on the road in Dallas.
Portland won 99-97 in overtime on a last second jumper by LaMarcus Aldridge.
Most impressive is the fact that the Blazers fought back from down 15 in the first half. This was the team’s best showing in quite some time.
1. Raymond Felton
Raymond Felton has taken a ton of heat this year, but he was awesome last night. Felton was 12 for 18 from the floor and 5 for 8 from three-point range. He finished with 30 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
It was Felton’s best game in Portland uniform, and it was great to see.
2. Never Quit Attitude
You have to give Kaleb Canales a ton of credit for getting the team chemistry back together.
At the end of Nate McMillan’s time in Portland, the Blazers were constantly giving up after getting down early. The Mavericks dominated the entire first half, and it would have been easy for the Blazers to lay down in this one.
Instead, they fought back with a huge 14-0 run at the end of the third quarter to take the lead.
Portland actually beat the Mavericks on the boards in this matchup. The Blazers had 14 offensive rebounds to Dallas’ nine. The Blazers finished with 51 rebounds compared to the Mavericks 43 boards.
Defense has been a major point of emphasis for Canales, and the Blazers defense was great in this one. They didn’t let Dirk Nowitzki beat them, and they only allowed the Mavericks to make 7 out of 24 from three-point range.
1. Lack of Ball Movement
The Blazers did too much one-on-one offense in the first half. Portland finished the game with just 17 assists on 41 made field goals. This team needs to move the ball more efficiently.
Tonight’s matchup with Milwaukee is a meeting of two teams on the outside of the playoff picture looking to fight their way in during the last few weeks of the year.
Portland needs to keep the momentum going after this huge win!