Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Phoenix Suns.
Once more, without feeling. These two teams met just three days ago, but back then the Suns had a glimmer of hope at a playoff berth. Yesterday they blew a twenty-point lead against the Oklahoma City Thunder—you know, the team they are battling with for that eighth spot in the West—and while not technically yet eliminated, their chances at the post-season are
slim none to none. It's time for the Suns to play out the string, the second season in a row where almost wasn’t quite good enough.
The Blazers, on the other hand, will officially punch their ticket to the big dance with a win tonight. Not only that, they’re in a heated battle for home-court advantage in the first round.
So one team has something to play for while the other is going through the motions. This should be fun. The NBA in March, y'all.
Hey, welcome aboard Tim Frazier! The Blazers finally made use of one of their empty roster spots today, signing the point guard for the rest of the season. If you're like me and are just hearing the name Tim Frazier for the first time, apparently he plays for a D-League team called the Maine Red Claws and he has a few triple-doubles under his belt there. Chances are he'll never see the court, but when the Blazers win it all he'll get a ring just like everyone else.
Remember three days ago when LaMarcus went ham in the fourth and scored over every Suns player ever? Hopefully tonight is a repeat performance. The Morrii twins should be very afraid.
11:00 - Dame sunk his first attempt on the night. Please be out of that shooting funk. Please be out of that shooting funk. Please be out of that shooting funk. 2-2 Tie.
10:03 - Huh, so I guess nobody told Phoenix that they had nothing to play for tonight. They have come out firing, jumping out to an early lead behind the Morrii. 7-2 Suns.
8:25 - LaMarcus is doing his best on the offensive end, but Portland can't get a stop on the other end. Inside, outside, Morrii—it doesn't matter right now, Phoenix is cruising. 13-6 Suns.
6:42 - Dame is shot hunting tonight, trying to get himself going early. His first three-point attempt just barely rattled out, but that second one never had a doubt. 15-11 Suns.
4:51 - The Suns just triple-teamed LaMarcus in the post. No joke. As LA made his move to the middle, he was met by three defenders. LA kicked to Dame in the corner, but Lillard couldn't connect on the triple. 18-17 Blazers.
3:35 - The last minute in a nutshell: Blazers turnover, empty fast break from the Suns, Batum throwing a pass off of Chris Kaman's head, Suns turnover, Batum three. Can we get some "Yakety Sax" over the PA? 21-17 Blazers.
2:45 - Defense? What defense? That's back-to-back-to-back threes, two for Batum and one for one of the Morrii. 24-20 Blazers.
0:00 - Things are going so well that after the quarter ended, LaMarcus threw a no look "shot" over his shoulder towards the Phoenix basket and banked it home. Yep. 31-22 Blazers.
9:44 - Sorry for the brief silence this quarter, there was something wrong with the internet for a minute. There is also something wrong with Phoenix's defense, because oof. 37-24 Blazers.
8:28 - Gerald Green took all of two seconds to fire up his first attempt after checking in to the game, because he wouldn't be Gerald Green otherwise. He sunk a contested triple right in front of his own bench and started barking in that direction. Either what he had to say was funny or he's jawing with some fans, because the folks next to the bench are all smiles right now. 37-26 Blazers.
6:15 - Green has seven points in what feels like ten seconds, and after that last make at the rim felt the need to give Batum a little shove out of the way. You do you, Gerry. 41-33 Blazers.
5:57 - Don't ever change, Gerry. Dude just air balled a contested three with fifteen seconds left in the shot clock. 44-33 Blazers.
4:31 - Aldridge for three. Can we just mercy rule this one at the half and simulate the rest of the game? 49-33 Blazers.
3:31 - Three Suns were nearly back on defense, but none of them felt the need to pick up Dorell Wright. Whoops. Phoenix could not be more tired or disinterested. 53-37 Blazers.
1:10 - A quick 6-0 run for Phoenix forced Portland to call time. On Portland's possession out of the timeout, Dame ended up with a wide open dunk because nobody rotated over to help out on his drive. Ha. 55-43 Blazers.
0:00 - A 12-2 run, capped by an alley oop from Gerald Green, probably wasn't the end to that quarter that the Blazers wanted. Meh. This is still Portland's game to lose. 55-49 Blazers.
11:28 - Robin Lopez with a huge block on one end, Dame with a step back jumper on the other. Everything is fine. 57-49 Blazers.
10:22 - Eric Bledsoe turnover, Eric Bledsoe technical, Arron Afflalo made jumper. That's seven straight for Portland to start the half, and the lead is back up to double digits. 62-49 Blazers.
8:52 - Dame had two questionable calls go against him, got that angry Hulk face working, and decided to take it right at Bledsoe on the other end. He sunk a triple right in Bledsoe's face, then picked up a three shot foul on Portland's next possession. 67-53 Blazers.
8:07 - Batum for three! That...escalated quickly. Portland is on pace for 51 points this quarter. 72-53 Blazers.
5:27 - I seriously can't keep up with all these made baskets. 81-59 Blazers.
4:17 - Batum for three, his fourth triple of the night. The Blazers already have 31 points this quarter. Unreal. 86-61 Blazers.
2:55 - 35 points and counting. Klay Thompson scored 37 in a quarter by himself this season, which based off of tonight I don't think is actually possible. 90-61 Blazers.
0:48 - Can you both air ball a point blank alley oop and have it blocked after it missed? Yes, if you're Dorell Wright. All Dorell could do was shake his head after that masterpiece. 90-63 Blazers.
0:00 - The final tally that quarter was 37-16. I don't think we're going to see the starters for the rest of the night. 92-65 Blazers.
11:14 - Chris Kaman with a huge block on Alex Len. Hopefully the woman in front of me with the giant shirt of Kaman's face enjoyed that. 94-65 Blazers.
9:13 - If you enjoy Charles Barkley's "Who He Play For?" this is the game for you. Earl Barron? Reggie Bullock? AJ Price? Pretty sure I made up one of those three names, but I can't be sure. 96-72 Blazers.
8:13 - If you enjoy post-ups from Meyers Leonard and Joel Freeland
this is the game for you what the hell is wrong with you? 98-72 Blazers.
7:38 - Meyers Leonard for three and free fries. If you listen closely, you can almost make out a faint "chalupa" chant in the air. 101-72 Blazers.
4:20 - Great, a clear path review. I was just thinking I could use some more of this game—it was moving too quickly for my taste. Ugh. 105-80 Blazers.
2:23 - With this automatic timeout the fans are finally streaming towards the exits. How the majority of them lasted this long is beyond me. 107-84 Blazers.
FINAL: 109-86 Blazers. Welp, that was a massacre. The Suns just didn't have it on the second night of a back-to-back and the Blazers took full advantage after the half. Portland has now won four in a row and officially clinched a playoff berth. Tonight was a dud, but Wednesday's game against the Clippers will have major implications in the Western Conference playoff race and home-court advantage in the first round.