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A tale of two halves... Spurs beat Trail Blazers 107 - 98
posted: Monday, November 20, 2006 at 9:29 PM

This is a real heartbreaking loss for both Portland fans and players alike, because the Trail Blazers absolutely dominated the first half, controlling the glass, scoring in the paint, and most importantly kept Tim Duncan off the scoresheet for the most part.

However, there is obviously a reason that the San Antonio Spurs are undefeated on the road. Tonight, they stayed in the game with efficient foul shooting, and then found their stroke when it was most important.

Without trying to sound like a broken record, Portland is noticeably improving with each game. Randolph had a solid performance with 23 points and 8 rebounds, while Juan Dixon came off the bench to score 17 points for the Trail Blazers. The biggest thing to consider is that in every game Portland has worked hard and competed with every team. Once our two injured starters return to the lineup, Portland fans will be able to witness a team capable of setting the league on fire.


1 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did Magloire and Graham play so many minutes in the fourth quarter against "the best team in the NBA?"

10:04 PM  

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Portland's frustration culminates in technical...
posted: at 9:27 PM

It took a Tim Duncan over-the-back block on Zach Randolph to spark it, but the Trail Blazers have become noticeably frustrated with the progression of the fourth quarter.

Zach hit the ball into the stands after the play and was hit with the first technical foul of the game.

With 23.4 seconds left, Trail Blazers find themselves down 11.


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Portland can't find open shot... Down 10
posted: at 9:16 PM

With 2:26 left in the fourth quarter, Portland has struggled to find a consistent offensive threat. Randolph has seen double and triple teams, and the rest of the Trail Blazers have been unable to find any open looks.

On the other end, Manu Ginobili has taken over much of the scoring burden for the Spurs. He has not done it in the customary way of scoring from the field, but rather he has flopped his way to the free-throw line. It seems like everytime down the floor Ginobili takes 5 or 6 steps on his way down the lane then falls over, kind of like those old wind-up toys that wobbled, wobbled, wobbled and then fell over.

The refs, however, seem to buy into his pain and reward him consistently.


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Randolph subs back in...
posted: at 9:07 PM

In an effort to bring back some offensive intensity, Coach Nate had Zach check back in the game.

In the first half, it was uncharacteristic foul shooting that kept the Spurs in the game. The second half has been dictated entirely by the outside shooting of San Antonio. With each Trail Blazer run, seems to come a Spurs three-pointer, which has been the biggest reason Portland hasn't been able to runaway in the fourth quarter...

This game looks like it's going to go right down to the last possession, which means that Portland fans can once again begin passing out the blood pressure medicine, and get ready for another thriller.

Portland is down 1, 93 - 92.


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Graham hits gigantic three...
posted: at 9:01 PM

With the shot clock expiring, Stephen Graham came out of nowhere to hit a clutch three. Juan Dixon followed the shot up with a three of his own, and then deferred the next possession to Graham again for a 15 foot jumper...


Portland is down 1, 85 - 84, with 8:08 left to play.


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Blaze dazzles crowd with giant dunks...
posted: at 8:56 PM

In an effort to get the Rose Garden crowd even more excited for the fourth quarter than they already are, Blaze, the Portland mascot, nearly tore down the roof with his spectacular trampoline aided dunks.

Portland needs the crowd to stay in the game and help them close out a big fourth quarter if they want to end San Antonio's unbeaten streak on the road.


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Quick comeback ties game...
posted: at 8:49 PM

The Spurs are really showing why they're a perennial playoff team. Even though they've been outplayed in almost every facet of the game so far, they've hung around and clawed their way back into the game.

Tim Duncan has been his consistent self leading all Spurs with 25 points, and the Spurs have spread around big shots amongst their guards.

Portland needs to find the mid-range jumpshot that built them a big first half lead and close out the third quarter with a surge of energy. Remember San Antonio is coming off of another road game last night and may not have the legs to compete with an up-tempo fourth quarter.

Heading into the fourth, Spurs lead 78 - 74.


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Trail Blazers playing with swagger...
posted: at 8:40 PM

Portland may have another Rookie of the Year candidate and he's showcasing every aspect of his game in tonight's contest. Lamarcus Aldridge has turned in his 8th point of the game with an NBA Jam "I'm On Fire"-esque dunk. After a missed Webster three, the ball bounced softly to the weak side and Aldridge made sure to send it back to it's home with authority.

Aldridge is also manned up on Duncan on the other side of the floor, which is no small task.

Portland is playing excellent basketball right now- diving for loose balls, chasing every rebound and really working down low to frustrate this Spurs team. All of this has contributed to the Trail Blazer lead 72 - 67.


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Webster hits big three to start 3rd...
posted: at 8:32 PM


Wasting no time, Martell Webster drained a monster three off of a double screen to open up the Trail Blazers' second half.

On the other end, Manu Ginobili did his best salmon impression, flopping all the way down the lane, and the act was good enough to draw a foul on Ime Udoka.

The Portland lead has been cut to 6.


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Trail Blazers head to half with lead and momentum...
posted: at 8:11 PM

Juan Dixon closed out the half on an isolation play, which resulted in yet another foul on the San Antonio Spurs' front line. Dixon made both free-throws and extended the Portland lead to 8.

A big reason why Portland heads into halftime with the lead is the lack of fear amongst each player from top to bottom. Zach Randolph has established himself. Magloire has grabbed 5 rebounds, including two big offensive rebounds in the second quarter. Lamarcus Aldridge, although he only saw limited action in the second quarter, took his first two possessions right at Tim Duncan and converted them into 4 points.

The Trail Blazers are playing like a team that deserves to be higher than 15th on the NBA Power Rankings, not a team that is happy to be as high as they are.

Portland needs to continue to pressure the Spurs front line and control the tempo like they've been doing all game. From the outset, they have dictated almost every aspect of the contest, and if it weren't for some uncharacteristically good free-throw shooting, the Spurs went 12-12 in the first half, the Trail Blazer lead would be even higher. Regardless, Portland fans are primed to send the Spurs packing with their first road loss of the season.


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Spurs look to cool off Trail Blazers, call timeout...
posted: at 8:02 PM

Juan Dixon added his sixth point of the night with a leaning jumper off the left baseline. Randolph has continued to assert himself on the offensive end as well, after substituting back in the game. He leads all Trail Blazers with 15 points.

The biggest difference besides Randolph's absolute dominance on the offensive end is Jamaal Magloire's presence on the offensive boards. Three times this quarter, Magloire has entered the land of the giants and left not only with excellent position, but also with big fouls on the San Antonio front line.

Lamarcus Aldridge and Dan Dickau have checked in for Portland and with just over a minute to play, the Portland lead is 8 at 54 - 46.


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Timeout Trail Blazers...
posted: at 7:56 PM

In the most exciting mini-game of the year, another Portland fan will have a half-court shot at a Toyota Tundra. Fans may remember the first shot, which wasted no time in finding the net.

Using an unorthodox approach, the fan took a couple steps and fired a baseball pass with his left hand, which landed somewhere in the second row behind the Spurs basket.

Portland is still 50% from half-court, which most likely still leads the league.


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Tim Duncan and Michael Finley brutalize Magloire...
posted: at 7:51 PM

After a beautiful no-look entry pass from Juan Dixon, Magloire dumped in his 6th point of the game. The basket was scored even though Tim Duncan and Michael Finley were taking turns hammering Jamaal's right arm.

Magloire did not connect on the free-throw to complete the three-point play, however, making the Portland lead 3 points.


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Second quarter gets going...
posted: at 7:45 PM

Jamaal Magloire broke the ice in the second quarter with a big move in the paint, and then went to work on the offensive glass on the next possession drawing the first foul of the quarter.

Magloire is giving Zach Randolph a much needed break, since he's had to due some double duty- shouldering a substantial portion of the offensive load, while helping contain Tim Duncan on the other end.

With 8:53 left in the second, Trail Blazers lead 31 - 29.


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First quarter comes to a close...
posted: at 7:38 PM

As the first quarter comes to a close, Portland has to be ecstatic with the play of the Trail Blazers so far. Travis Outlaw punctuated an offensive clinic with a mammoth rejection on a San Antonio fast break. From here, it looked like Air Outlaw took off somewhere around the free-throw line, grazed his head on the Rose Garden roof, and came down just in time to deny the Spurs' layup, like they were trying to buy a car with bad credit.


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Sergio checks in...
posted: at 7:32 PM

Quickly becoming a cult-phenomenon in the Portland area, rookie point guard Sergio Rodriguez has checked in the game. Sergio is one of many dynomite stories of the young Portland season. Expected to spend most of the year adjusting to the American style of play, Sergio played his way into the rotation against the Minnesota Timberwolves and hasn't looked back since.

On his first possession, he absolutely abandoned Tony Parker, who is considered among the NBA's quickest players with the basketball. Looks like Sergio is another player to add to the list of lightning guards in the NBA.


1 Comments:
Blogger SergioDaMan said...

SERRRRRRRRRRRRRRGIO!

7:56 PM  

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Duncan and Zach trade baskets...
posted: at 7:25 PM

All the fans looking for a defensive battle may be out of luck as both teams have come out of the gate with hot shooting hands. Tim Duncan has scored consecutive baskets for San Antonio, but Zach Randolph is doing his best "anything you can do, I can do better" impression. Randolph and Aldridge lead Portland with 6 points heading into the first timeout.

As if the game wasn't exciting enough, Portland fans were treated to numerous gift certificates dropped by the Trail Blazer blimp during the timeout. The fans that missed out on snagging a gift certificate shouldn't lose hope, because Portland is on pace to score 100 points, which means everyone in attendance wins a free Chalupa, courtesy of Taco Bell.


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Z-Bo and Aldridge get Trail Blazers started...
posted: at 7:19 PM

Portland didn't have to wait long for its first basket as Zach Randolph drove the lane and scored on Tim Duncan...

After a Spurs basket by Manu, Aldridge showed no fear and took a jump shot right in Tim Duncan's face. The rookie forward out of Texas followed up his first two points with an even better sequel, destroying Tim Duncan's self-esteem with a monster dunk.

It's early, but it's also extremely hard to tell who has the All-NBA veteran and who has the rookie. Aldridge has 6 points and the score is 12 - 10 Portland.


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5 Minutes and Counting...
posted: at 7:05 PM

On the offensive end, Portland needs to continue what they started in New Jersey. There's no question that Zach Randolph is an enormous offensive threat down low, but the Trail Blazers are most effective when they move the ball, spread the floor and find Z-Bo on the fly.

Portland finished the game with 22 assists against New Jersey's 17, which is even more impressive because the Nets have Jason Kidd, a point guard that's made a living making other players look good. The Jarrett Jack - Tony Parker match-up is almost as decisive as the one at power forward.


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20 minutes to game time...
posted: at 6:48 PM

There's nothing like ending a grueling road trip on a positive note, and that's exactly what the Trail Blazers did in New Jersey. After struggling through 3 games in 4 days, Portland made an effort to shutdown the Nets early and jumped out to an early 25 - 8 lead. Never looking back after the first quarter, the Trail Blazers went on to win 86 - 68.

Portland is going to need every ounce of momentum from New Jersey to beat the San Antonio Spurs. Modeled after Tim Duncan, their All-NBA power forward, the Spurs are a model of consistency. Not only do they lead the Southwest division, but they are also in the middle of a two-game winning streak.

Portland's first priority has to be Tim Duncan. Historically, Tim Duncan has been steady against the Trail Blazers, leading all Spurs with 22.8 points per game against Portland, but his biggest contribution is on the boards, where he has averaged 11.9 rebounds per game. The Trail Blazers will need 5 guys crashing the boards if they want to eliminate second chance opportunities and hand San Antonio their third loss of the season.


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Spurs come into town...
posted: at 6:26 PM

After winning their last two games, the Spurs come into the Rose Garden running on all cylinders. This will be the second night of a back-to-back for San Antonio (last night beating Sacramento 108-99). Duncan poured in 35 points and 14 boards. Should be interesting against Zach (averaging 26.0 PPG, 10.9 RPG). Who will be guarding Duncan? Zach, Aldridge, Magloire, Outlaw. We'll have to see.

Tip off is in 35 minutes. As we get closer, we'll post some links here to help you follow the game. The NBA has a cool flash module as does ESPN.


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