Someone stole Hassan Whiteside's trash cans on Thanksgiving night, and the big man was out for revenge. He notched an all-time Blazer record of 10 blocks in Friday's win over Chicago, stuffing the Bulls like they were holiday turkeys. It was the third win in a row for our home team, the first time they've done that this season. Carmelo Anthony continued his fine play with 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Damian Lillard, as usual, led all scorers.
The Chicago Bulls are a mediocre team at best, but the Blazers have been struggling to find a groove this season, and beating them for the second time this week was a good start. Perhaps it's the injection of Melo into the starting lineup, or perhaps it's that the principle players finally seem healthy, but for whatever reason the Blazers look more formidable than they did just a few weeks ago. The game was close throughout, but the Blazers remained in control once they overcame a slow start. Rodney Hood looked especially sharp, with 19 points and currently holds the second best three point percentage in the entire league (50.8 percent).
The score was 53-47, Blazers at the half. Here's a look at some of the fans populating the Moda Center:
Many folks showed up to support Carmelo Anthony. This guy lives in Portland but had never been to a Blazers game. He went to Syracuse and has loved Melo ever since then. He chose to sport his orange Syracuse jersey to show it.
Look at these cool gals showing their Blazer love:
Holiday spirit was in the house:
More Carmelo love. This guy sports his high school jersey:
There were a few Bulls fans in the house, like these two who came all the way from Chicago:
The Bulls cut the Blazer lead to three by the end of the third quarter. Zach Levine was their primary scorer and rookie Coby White also looked strong, even with that crazy floppy hair. Folks in the media rows began to murmur as Whiteside's block total crept higher and closer to the team record of nine. Would he break it? Would he be able to achieve the elusive triple double consisting of double digit points, rebounds, and blocks? We all cheered when he reached 10 blocks, breaking the record. He had 15 rebounds, so there was the double-double. But Whiteside only scored eight points, just one bucket shy of that rare triple double statistic.
It was another good night for the Blazers. The fans chanted "Mel-o! Mel-o!" again and the team generally looked like it was having fun. With a somewhat more respectable 8-12 record they now sit at 10th place in the west. They now travel to Los Angeles to take on a much more imposing team, the second place Clippers. A win down there would make a big statement that the Blazers haven't gone away yet. Maybe things are starting to cook now that Melo is in the mix?