Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Los Angeles Lakers. Will tonight mark the end of one Trevor Ariza (punished for the international crime of Rudy Bashing)? Will he be pummeled by the unforgiving paws of Joel "The Vanilla Gorilla" Przybilla? Will Portland win its eighth consecutive game at home against the Lakers? Or will Kobe Bryant ruin a perfectly good Friday evening? Why so many questions?
Grab your shovels, we're either burying Ariza or liveblogging this game...
Ariza will be fine. The near-fisticuffs of these two team's last meeting will (most likely) not occur again. The Lakers are only concerned about securing home court advantage over Cleveland, and maybe what they are going to do after the game (now that the Bettie Ford Lounge has closed). Welcome to my world. I'm lost without that place, broseph.
Portland, on the other hand, is desperately jostling for an improved playoff position that has them playing with home court advantage, and preferably avoiding the Houston Rockets entirely. As for the sold out Rose Garden, it will be L-O-U-D. Expect plenty of Ariza-related booing, and your occasional yellow-clad Kobe apologist. Funny, when the Clippers play here, there are never any Los Angeles fans. Huh, wonder why? It's probably the uniforms.
Tantric sex guru—and Hall of Fame coach—Phil Jackson will not be here tonight, the Lakers coach will miss the game due to "leg stiffness." Dude, take Sting's advice, you have to stretch before you get down like that. You're not a teenager anymore. Kurt Rambis will be coaching the game. No word if he will be wearing this outfit. Let's hope so.
Ariza introduced. Ariza booed. I did not see that coming. Not at all.
12:00 - The opening tip would have been more entertaining had Przybilla just punched someone. Just saying. There is no score, 0-0.
9:54 - Andrew Bynum avoids season ending injury long enough to score a layup, and it's 4-0 Lakers. Portland looks uninspired.
8:58 - Nicolas Batum for three and now Portland looks un-uninspired. Shut up, that is totally a word. 5-4 Portland.
7:53 - I've said it before, I shall say it again: Batum is the best rookie on this team. He swats Kobe at the rim, after Bryant blew past Roy at the top of the key. 6-5 Los Angeles.
5:00 - Roy for three and now Portland has its biggest lead of the game: two whole points! Not bad when you consider that LaMarcus Aldridge has yet to hit a shot. 15-13 PDX.
3:41 - Lamar Odom almost starts the Friday Night Fights by randomly running over Steve Blake. Just a foul, no fight. For now. 16-15 PDX.
1:37 - Travis Outlaw commits a foul, but by instinct the big screen cameras cut to Greg Oden. A common mistake. 23-22 Lakers.
0:00 - Instead of turning it over—or, um, passing it to someone in the same color uniform—Sergio Rodriguez heaves a halfcourt shot that misses wide right. Twelve minutes down, 24-23 Portland. Not bad for a home team shooting 30%.
10:20 - Back-to-back three pointers followed by an Outlaw layup, and all of a sudden lookie lookie at that scoreboard: 32-25 Portland.
7:48 - Roy blocks a shot, but it was from Luke Walton, so it barely counts. It didn't really matter since Sergio immediately recovered the block and threw the ball away. At least he consistently disappoints. 36-34 Blazers.
5:08 - Clearly complacent with beating the NBA's premier franchise (at home), Portland fails to pad their lead—or take advantage of the time Kobe spent on the bench—and now the Lakers are on top. 39-38 LA.
3:00 - With the exception of Roy, the Portland starters are 4-15 shooting. I know it's been seven in a row on the home court, but that won't win a game against the Lakers... or the Clippers. Or whatever Los Angeles' WNBA team is called. The She-Lakers? 46-40 Lakers.
2:00 - Portland has scored six points in the last eight minutes. Flip those numbers and it's still pathetic. 50-40 Lakers.
0:53 - Clearly reacting to my condemning blogging, use of the word "pathetic," and LOUD TYPING, Portland answers with seven quick points. You work for me, Blazers, and don't you forget it. 50-47 Lakers.
0:00 - Sasha Vujacic (The most despised European player in the NBA? Discuss.) and his greasy headband hit a three and it's time for Portland to go to the locker room and hang their heads in shame. Or at least get some EL Fudge cookies and Capri Suns from the pantry. 53-49 Los Angeles.
9:58 - Blake for three, which is nice, but Roy feeding Aldridge for an alley-oop dunk is nicer, and then Kobe getting whistled for the technical foul is nicerest. Get off my case, it's so a word. 57-56 Lakers.
7:58 - The Lakers are collecting fouls and looking a bit frustrated, as the crowd grows louder and louder. Had Batum been able to dunk over Gasol (again, for a third time) this place would have literally exploded. Wait, I just looked up what "literally" means. I am literally a moron. 62-59 Portland.
4:32 - Kobe explodes (not literally) for a quick eight points and the purple team is once again winning. 69-68 Lakers.
Wi-Fi = Failed! Again.
Yes, once again the trusty Rose Garden wi-fi died. But how am I supposed to take that Facebook quiz which asks which Jonas Brother I am? (I'm totally a Nick)
Anyway, Portland came out ahead, 106-98 to make it eight straight against the Lakers on the home court. I'll be back for Monday's game against the Thunder. Hopefully wi-fi will be back as well...