Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers welcome the Los Angeles Clippers. Tonight is all about Marcus Camby, who a mere 24 hours ago was doomed to the fate of being a Los Angeles Clipper until the end of time (or April, whatever comes first). But a few phone calls, a few players, and $3 million dollars later, Camby is now a Portland Trail Blazer. He will not be playing tonight, but will be sitting on the Portland bench, where this sold out crowd will ogle him like a shiny new present under the Christmas tree. His unwrapping comes Friday, when the Boston Celtics come to town.
But enough about Camby, let's talk Roy. As in Brandon. As in the most valuable player on the Portland roster. After missing 14 of the past 15 games with a hamstring injury—and supposedly not returning until later this week—Roy will play tonight. Sorry, Clippers. It just isn't your night.
Talk about a spark to a team with a uncertain future. The Blazers went into the All-Star break with a nice road win over Phoenix under their belts, but a difficult path to the playoffs ahead of them. The team's upcoming schedule had more road games than home, plus it seemed that perhaps the overachieving Blazers were running on fumes after a trying first half. Plus, despite looking sharp in a suit while on the bench, Portland needed Roy back in the lineup. Now Roy is back and the team has found their temporary solution to their troubles under the basket. Everything is coming up Milhouse for the Blazers.
Also, in JPEG news, we are taking the bandaids off the Blazers logo. We have had them on since the team started crumbling due to injuries, but now that Roy is back (and Outlaw is now longer on the team), it seemed like a good time to put the past behind us. This means the team is absolutely invincible and cannot be injured (or jinxed by this sentence).
11:06 - The Blazers have dropped a pair of games at home, both of which started eerily similar to this game. The opposing team scores on their first few possessions while Portland wastes the shot clock and settles for poor looks at the basket. 4-0 Clippers.
9:06 - I'm not a doctor, but Roy's hamstring looks fine after that acrobatic layup under the basket. Cured! 7-6 Clippers.
7:14 - Mr. First Quarter, Martell Webster, hits back-to-back threes. Reverse clutch shooting, as always. He then follows that with a rebound that fires up a fastbreak and results in an Aldridge layup. Timeout, Clipper ships. 16-7 Blazers.
4:28 - Andre Miller is hardly a defensive force, but he just outsmarted Baron Davis by—instead of trying to draw a charge or strip the ball—playing possum and just standing there. Davis, not expecting that, dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds. 18-14 Blazers.
0:00 - After skimming the lead down to one, the Blazers keep the Clippers at bay with some late scoring, including a long jumper from Aldridge (10 points in the quarter) with three seconds left. 26-20 Blazers.
10:28 - People here still go nuts when he shoots them, but Rudy is two for 18 from beyond the arch. Failing to do your job and falling back on your good looks, it's a pain I know all too well. 30-22 Blazers.
8:24 - Rudy shuts me up by hitting a three. He also said I'm ugly and no one will ever love me. All valid points. Oh, hello 13 point lead. 35-22 Blazers.
7:55 - Dante Cunningham goes flying into the first row after his fastbreak layup attempt. Nice hustle, but Jerryd Bayless will kill you (with his intense glare) for stealing his move. Watch it, kid. 35-22 Blazers.
5:33 - After Davis clanks a three attempt that scrapes the top of the backboard, Webster shows him how it is done—all net. 39-24 Blazers.
2:51 - Webster again for three, and he now leads all scorers with 12 (all of which have come from three point territory). This is what job security will do for you. 45-30 Blazers.
1:02 - Poor Juwan Howard. About to lose his starting minutes and so forgotten about on the court that the Clippers forget to guard him all alone under the basket during an inbound pass. Points seldom come easier than that. 47-36 Blazers.
0:00 - To the half we go. Portland up 11. 49-38 Blazers.
9:29 - For a team with no player north of the seven foot mark, the Blazers have done an excellent job of smothering Clippers' big man, and lone All-Star, Chris Kaman. The Kamaniac (never gets old) has two points on the night. His elderly foil, Juwan Howard, has six. 57-43 Blazers.
6:54 - Juwan Howard gets a faceful of DeAndre Jordan. This is the point in the game where I realize that if that happened to me, I'd be squirming on the court screaming "MY FACE! MY FACE! MY BEAUTIFUL FACE!" over and over again. The fact that Jordan is currently shooting free throws is a testament to NBA players' ability to play through pain (and proof that I am a total pansy). 65-46 Blazers.
5:12 - It could be bad news, or just a precautionary move, but Roy is out for the remainder of the game. 67-48 Blazers.
5:10 - Jesse Jackson is at the game. Quick, someone tell Matt Davis! 67-48 Blazers.
2:52 - While Steve Novak was lying on the court, Nicolas Batum dunks over him. I tried the same jump with my BMX bike and my brother. It was not a success. 72-56 Blazers.
0:04 - Bayless usually only barrels over opposing players under the basket, but he decides to spice things up and level Davis midcourt. Surprised Davis' robust beard is still attached after that hit. 78-65 Blazers.
10:30 - Bobby Brown (same name, different dude) for three and now the Clippers are within single digits. 78-70 Blazers.
8:48 - Brown again (it's his prerogative) and now the Clippers are within five. Portland has scored one point this quarter. Commence fourth quarter meltdown. 79-74 Blazers.
7:02 - Webster feeds Rudy for a flying layup, and all is once again well in Blazersland. 90-74 Portland.
3:39 - The Blazers have a season high with 14 steals, while the Clippers have one. Every Blazer starter—even Roy—had at least two steals on the night. 97-78 Blazers.
1:46 - Webster for three. That was just mean. The lead is so big it can only mean one thing: Patty Mills sighting! 104-80 Blazers.
0:00 - Webster pads his stat with a career high seventh three-pointer and the Blazers roll to a 109-87 victory. We'll see you Friday night.