Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the pesky insects from the Crescent City, the New Orleans Hornets.
As it was earlier this week, the big news is the bum leg tendon of Brandon Roy, who is "doubtful" for tonight's contest—damn you hamstring—but then again, that didn't really seem to matter on Tuesday when the Blazers rolled all over the world champs from Boston without Roy. God, that was fun. Can we do it again? Please?
As always, the Hornets should prove a worthy challenge for the home team, since New Orleans is firmly rooted as one of the NBA's top teams and armed to the teeth with Chris Paul, David West, Tyson Chandler, and the Serbian Assassin, Peja Stojakovic. (Note to self: Do not refer to anyone as an "assassin" if they are actually from somewhere that really has assassins. The Guamanian Assassin? The Canadian Assassin? Totally acceptable. Just not Serbian.)
In other news from the Blazers infirmary, Joel Przybilla is all sorts of messed up with "an avulsion of the scaphoid on his left wrist." Those are fake words. An illusion to the scaffolding on his left wrist? Whatever. The Vanilla Gorilla knows no physical pain—emotional pain, he knows that all too well—so he might see some minutes tonight. If he does not, then that's pretty terrible news considering that the man he backs up, Greg Oden, is seven-feet, 285 pounds, of pure foul.
Ir's official: No Roy. Rudy Fernandez starts.
11:41 - LaMarcus Aldridge starts things off with a pass to Jerryd Bayless... who is sitting on the bench. The Blazers really like the extra player option, sadly this time it does not count. 0-0.
9:54 - David West will never dunk again. At least, he shouldn't. He just met Greg Oden above the rim and lost. The ball, and his dignity. 2-0 Blazers.
7:21 - Oden is hoarding fouls, he has two so far and has earned himself a seat in the Channing Frye Suite (aka, the bench). 8-6 Blazers.
4:14 - Stojakovic again from deep downtown. He has 6 points, the Blazers have 8. They would totally be winning if this was a game of 1-on-5 ball. It is not. 14-8 Hornets.
3:05 - Stojakovic gets mugged by Jerryd Bayless. You seldom see someone just waltz up on defense and rip the ball from another player's hands like that. He also took his wallet, keys, iPhone, lucky rabbit foot keychain, and photos of his wife. 17-14 Hornets.
1:26 - Another bad call. This dual referee thing is nonsense. I am just going to go down there—I have a rape whistle on at all times, what?—and volunteer my services. 19-16 Hornets.
0:00 - Another tough start for Portland. The game isn't over—they scored 13 in the first quarter against Boston—but in these past 12 minutes they definitely looked like they missed the services of Brandon Roy. 21-16 New Orleans.
11:28 - Five turnovers, 33% shooting, no defense... let's never speak of that first quarter again. 23-18 New Orleans.
9:49 - At his best moments Bayless resembles a feral child. At his worst, a feral child who is really bad at the sport of basketball. We're getting a little of both tonight. He's the lone spark on a downright drowsy looking team, but he's also a bit of a liability as well. Right now Jerryd Bayless is totally Nell. 25-20 Hornets.
7:45 - Oden hearts fouls. He sends James Posey to the ground for no reason and now heads back to the bench with his third foul. 29-22 Hornets.
5:41 - Aldridge steal, to Blake, to Ruuuudddy for a breakaway dunk. More important than the two points, the crowd is now back in the game. 31-27 Hornets.
5:15 - Rudy for three. More crowd. More points. 31-30 Hornets.
3:06 - Mark it down: When Rudy drives, good things happen. I'm all for him chucking up ridiculous-looking three-point attempts, but anytime he actually puts the ball to the floor and goes towards the rim he either scores or is fouled. This last time, he was fouled. Two easy points. 38-36 Hornets.
0:24 - No offense. No defense. Plenty of turnovers. Oden has more fouls than points. This really should be a blowout. Yet here we are with a few ticks before the break and the Blazers are very much in the game. 45-43 Hornets.
10:18 - After a poor first half (one-for-six shooting and letting David West drop 15 points on him), Aldridge starts off the third quarter with a quick jumper. A few possessions later Przybilla adds a baby hook (awwww) and the Blazers lead. 47-45 Portland.
8:20 - When Rudy goes to the basket, again, that is when things go well. I still don't understand why he doesn't do that more. There is more to life than wild three-pointers. 49-49.
7:31 - Rudy for three. I was wrong, there is not more to life than wild three-pointers. 52-49 Portland.
6:16 - OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT! Tyson Chandler and Przybilla throw punches! Przybilla pushed away Chandler's hand, and Tyson answers with a closed fist punch. Wow. Ron Artest approves. Where's the ring card girls? Honestly, they both should be tossed. Right now the Vanilla Gorilla has a personal foul and a technical is on Chandler. They will both be fined, and I bet Chandler will be suspended. The two officials are watching the tape right now.
Chandler is tossed. A "flagrant foul two" on him. Surprisingly Przybilla is allowed to stay, which is great news for Portland given that tonight Oden is the Hungry Hungry Hippo of foul consumption.
3:57 - Standing ovation for Przybilla. I guess his two points really inspired everyone. Either that, or the blood-lust has made this crowd go insane. 56-51 Portland.
1:27 - Oden's insatiable love for fouls continues. Jeez man, get a room already. That is foul number four and say bye-bye to the lead. Oh, and Oden has as many fouls as he does points and rebounds combined. 59-58 Hornets.
0:00 - All tied at the end of three. What will be the fourth quarter bring? More Oden fouls? Definitely. More Przybilla violence? Definitely. A Blazers win? Well, we'll see...
10:33 - Posey from way way way downtown and the Hornets are back on top. 66-63 New Orleans.
9:03 - The Blazers' offense is asleep at the wheel. Blake has a half-dozen misses and not a single make, Przybilla just tossed up an Oden-esque airball from two feet away, and Aldridge is 5 for 18 shooting. I think I could be more accurate from my seat. 68-63 Hornets.
8:43 - The foulin' twins have entered the game at the same time: Oden and Przybilla are in the game to add some height, muscle, and a mix-race partnership that should lead to hilarious results, much like Lethal Weapon 3. 70-63 Hornets.
7:25 - The Blazers have scored two points in the last five minutes. Unless something changes—and soon—they will lose this game and it won't even be close. 72-63 Hornets.
5:43 - I hate to be Captain Obvious here, but this is usually the time where Brandon Roy would put his head down and takeover the game. People, we are fucked. 77-67 Hornets.
2:37 - With nine points in the quarter, which is almost as many as the entire Blazers' roster has scored, Chris Paul has taken over the game. Well, we'll always have the punching. Too bad there wasn't much scoring to accompany it. 83-71 Hornets.
0:00 - Well that'll do it. An inspiring victory over Boston it ain't. The Blazers can't hold their own in the final quarter, and a game that was once very close is now firmly in blowout territory. Final score: New Orleans 92, Portland 77.