Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Dallas Mavericks. Oh, Merry Christmas and all that shit.
This time last year the Blazers celebrated Jesus' birthday by knocking off the Seattle Super Sonics—a team that does not even exist anymore (wow, my mind is blown)—and they are looking to do the same against Dallas tonight. The only thing standing in their way is a tall German man named Dirk Nowitzki. After the jump, USA vs. Germany. Good vs. Evil. Santa vs. the Germanic god Odin.
Onetime Dallas resident LaMarcus Aldridge has been known to light up his former hometown team—including a pair of 22 point games last year—and he'll need to rack up the baskets tonight in order to keep the pressure off Brandon Roy. Speaking of Roy, he sucks, it's been over a week without him scoring 52 points. Speaking of sucking: Greg Oden. Perhaps the big kid will drum up more points than fouls tonight. In the past two games he has 11 fouls, and 10 points.
Oh, and the Blazers are rocking the Christmas red jerseys tonight, while the Mavericks are wearing their festive green throwbacks. How adorable.
11:33 - Big news, 30 seconds in and Greg Oden has yet to commit a foul. I'll keep you updated every 30 seconds. 2-0 Mavs.
9:50 - It's been awhile since Batum had a big game on the offensive end of the hardwood, but 'lil Frenchie is off to a good start with a quick steal and a wide open three pointer. 7-2 Blazers.
8:48 - Roy just snapped Devan George's ankles as he polishes off a gorgeous drive and layup. Dallas panics, calls time out, and warms up the team bus for a quick retreat. 10-2 Portland.
7:20 - Big! German! Mad! Dirk just drops six points in a row and we're all tied up. 10-10.
4:15 - While Roy struggles to get his shot to drop, Dallas has no such issues with their unholy 66% average from the floor. 22-16 Mavs.
3:22 - Sergio Rodriguez just commits the rare, almost impossible, foul before playing an actual minute. Zero seconds on the court, one foul. Bravo, good sir. Bravo. 24-18 Dallas.
1:53 - To make up for his freakish statistical abnormality, Sergio hits a three. Meanwhile, on the defensive end of the floor, there, well, is no defense. Dallas is shooting 70%, scoring at will, and are on pace for a 35 point first quarter. 29-23 Dallas.
0:48 - Sergio to Rudy for an improbable reverse layup. That will make the highlight reel, and justify my purchase of that girly "I Heart Rudy" shirt. I'm cutting off the sleeves and bedazzling that thing. 31-28 Mavs.
9:40 - The Dallas scoring blitz is not just for the known players, even Antonie Wright and James Singleton (who?) are getting in on the action. If Shawn Bradley was still playing, he'd be knocking down the buckets as well. I think Mark Cuban just scored for them as well. 38-31 Dallas.
9:12 - Sergio Rodriguez is the leading scorer for the Blazers. He has 9 points. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. 41-33 Mavs.
4:20 - Rudy for three while getting hit by Jason Kidd. Why did Kidd hit him? He's not a woman. 51-44 Mavs.
2:44 - Roy is tripped up and hits the floor, yet somehow manages to control the ball and pass it to Batum, who then pauses and deposits it back with Roy for an acrobatic layup. 51-48 Portland.
1:39 - Oden's first foul comes not on an actual foul, but upon a clean block delivered to the mouth-breathing Nowitzki. That ain't right. 55-48 Dallas.
0:37 - In what was quite possibly the ugliest shot of the night—not taken by Oden—Steve Blake hits a corner three with a hand firmly planted in his grill. Then on the next play, Blake delivers to Roy for a quick score. To halftime we go—special guest, a "singing christmas tree"—with Dallas leading 59-55.
11:28 - Greg Oden misses a two-inch layup and then picks up a foul. At least he's consistent. 60-55 Dallas.
10:25 - Dirk Mad! Dirk Smash! Dirk gets foul and then technical foul! Grrr, Dirk kick innocent exercise equipment! 62-59 Portland.
9:07 - Oden's reputation as Captain Fouls-a-lot is not helping, as the big lad nets a pair of questionable whistles against him. 66-61 Mavs.
6:42 - It took awhile but Portland has the lead back in their posession, and the Mavs have another (un-Christmas like) technical foul. This one on their assistant coach. I'd be more impressed if their mascot got one. 67-66 Blazers.
4:41 - Flagrant fouls for everyone! Josh Howard gets a flagrant and a "T" for pushing the Vanilla Gorilla to the hardwood, and while Przybilla is shooting (and missing) his free-throw, Howard gives the Blazers a big fat Christmas gift by getting another technical, and thus is tossed from the game. 70-70 tie.
1:59 - Howard or no, Portland is woeful from the charity stripe (67%) and should be up a whole lot more than one measly point at this point in the game. 76-75 Blazers.
0:29 - Since it's his mom's birthday—and she is here tonight, all the way from Starkville Mississippi—Outlaw comes through with three excellent steals, one of which leads to a Blake three-point attempt that misses, but is tipped in by a high-flying Rudy. Portland lead, lots of momentum, no Josh Howard... 80-77 Blazers.
11:56 - Four seconds in and Sergio gets whistled for a foul. Well, at least he waited until the quarter started.
9:55 - So much for all that momentum. Two minutes pass and Portland has yet to place the ball in the hoop, while Dallas seems to have no such problem: 81-80 Mavs.
8:34 - LaMarcus Aldridge pushes Portland back ahead, but then grabs his fifth foul and a spot on the bench until the final minutes of the game. There goes the scoring option not named Brandon Roy. 83-82 Mavs.
6:58 - Mom's love dunks. That is why Outlaw broke off a massive slam. That is also why my mother is always disappointed in me. Hey, I do pretty well at H.O.R.S.E., is that worth something? 88-85 Portland.
4:15 - Kidd with a three, then a steal and a dish to Jason Terry for another three. Panic! 95-92 Mavs.
3:33 - Dallas' tiny lineup—Terry (6"2), Kidd (6"4), Barea (6"0)—has been able to penetrate and score at will against the Blazers' defense. While Oden has held his own, he isn't big/quick/good enough to scare the Mavs' smaller players from scoring in the paint. 97-92 Dallas.
2:39 - Take the ball to Dirk. He now has five fouls and without him in the game, Dallas might not ever score again. 99-94 Mavs.
1:09 - Hey, people in the good seats are leaving. Just proves the point that those with the best seats are seldom the best fans. 101-94 Mavs.
1:03 - While chasing down a lose ball Kidd mows over the referee. Surprisingly that is not considered a foul.
0:28 - And without much effort, that will about do it. The Blazers give up a few offensive rebounds, including one to the six-foot Barea‚ and the Mavs are just going to wind down the clock. Portland came into the fourth quarter with the momentum at their side—and a win in their sights—but only came through with a soft 14 points over the final 12 minutes. Hit the nog and burn down the tree, because this Christmas night is officially ruined. Final score: Dallas 102, Portland 94.