Not long now. And it’s a pretty important game if you ask me…
After the little All-Star layoff it’s time to hit the ground running. This begins, as they say, the stretch run. If the Blazers really fancy themselves a playoff team they beat the Sacramento
Queens Kings handily – by well more than the 3 1/2 point spread.
The Blazers won the season's only meeting between the two teams this season way back in November, 87-84.
Sacramento is without Mike Bibby, who was recently traded to Atlanta for a garbage truck full of bench riders.
Overheard an interesting bit from GM Kevin Pritchard during the pre-game meal. His answer to the question of which player from the recent marquee trades will have the biggest impact: Pau Gasol. "That's easy," he said.
And Prichard's a pretty wise dude, so I'll bank that one (even though I thought it would be ol' Kazaam...).
12:00 – Jarrett Jack gets the start over Martell Webster, which isn’t surprising when you consider that in his last game Webster scored just three points in 29 minutes.
9:45 – Przybilla salvages a broken play with a dunk. He’s fouled, but clanks the free-throw way short. Is it just me, or has his free throw been reverting back towards its old, terrible form? Przybilla scores again inside! He’s the only Blazer with any points (4). Has that ever happened? Portland 4, Sac. 5.
6:00 - The short All-Star vacation has both of these teams looking rustier than my old Schwin. Ick. Brad Miller drives all the way for a crushing one-handed dunk. Don’t take that crap Przybilla! Clobber that fool!
Amazing in-air redirct pass from Brandon Roy to Channing Frye for an easy to. Now the blood’s starting to flow… Next possession, Roy for THREE FROM THE CORNER. Blazers take the lead, 11-10.
3:03 - I might be the only one in this arena who’s a Ron Artest fan, judging by all these boo’s. Come on – Ron don’t take no shit from anybody, fans or not. Remember when he asked for time off during the season so he could work on his rap album? Now that takes balls. And in fact, Artest is the best NBA rapper out there. Sorry Shaq.
In other news that you might actually care about, the teams are trading baskets, and things are all tied up at 18. Some young boy just held up a sign that said “I’m one of Roy’s Boys”, which in the NBA, is sort of creepy.
1:50 – HO-LY. SHIT. MARTELL SHAKES, BAKES, WHIPS BY KEVIN MARTIN DOWN THE BASELINE FOR A THUNDEROUS ONE-HAND TOMAHAWK JAM. YEAH BUDDY. DO THAT MORE OFTEN AND YOU’LL BE STARTING AGAIN IN NO TIME.
0:00 - Outlaw misses at the buzzer. At the end of one, Sack (that's their new nickname from now on) are up, 27-24.
10:20 – Fauxhawk Rodriguez in the game, which has become rarer in recent weeks. He jacks up a poor outside shot quickly and misses. But Travis Outlaw hits, and on the other end Francisco Garcia drains a three. Sack has hit 4 of 6 three-point tries. That can’t keep up… Portland 29, Sack 32
8:55 – Travis is wrapped up in the lane to keep him from ending up on Sportscenter. But what happens? He gets twisted around and flips it in anyway! Yeah buddy. Blazers down one with a free throw coming. Timeout…
7:02 – Francisco Garcia is on fire. Somebody stop him. On the other end, Jarrett Jack fires a three, misses, but is fouled. I can hear Antonio Harvey shouting on radio behind me: “I think he’s got a better chance of making these free throws than that three.” Truer words have not been spoke – Jack, don’t shoot the three; you just don’t got it. Portland 37, Sack Queens 40.
2:57 – Jarrett Jack misses a three. See. I told you. Now Nate, it’s time for you to tell Jack, cause that boy just doesn’t get it. After a couple of Sack turnovers, the Blazers have reclaimed the lead, 43, 42.
Portland is doing a solid job sharing and scoring. They’ve got 16 assists, and every player but Sergio Rodriguez has scored. Roy leads the Blazers with seven.
1:36 – Travis Outlaw is picking this up. He’s got the last four Blazer points, all coming around the basket. Artest is doing the same for the Kings. He’s got 10. Nifty pass from Blake to Aldridge, who is fouled under the basket to prevent a dunk. Heads to the line for two and drains them both. Portland 49, Sack 47.
:31 – Artest mysteriously picks up a Technical from the bench while the teams are playing down on the other end. Martell misses the free throw. Dammit buddy (Martell) calm the fuck down, would you. Just relax. You need some Yoga or Valiuum or to get laid or something.
:00 – Roy cuts to the hoop and lays it in right before the buzzer! That ties it all up at 51.
Here comes some more top-notch Rose Garden halftime entertainment: dancing middle schoolers… Thanks for looking out. Good lord.
Oh wait! I get it now! You provide a good halftime show and people stay in their seats rather than head to the concourse for $8 peanuts. Of course… It’s so simple…
10:55 – Przybilla is having a hell of a game. He created two turnovers on the last two Sack possessions – he got a block and broke up a lob pass. Which begs the question, why didn’t get get more than 10 minutes in the first half? He wasn’t in foul trouble. We’ll see if Nate sticks with him here.
9:25 – Kings have yet to score, though the Blazers have dropped in a quick six. Portland 57, Sack 51.
6:50 – Just when the Blazers looked as if they were putting together a nice run and a decent cushion, the Kings zip back with six straight points to tie things back up at 59. Damn hell.
5:43 - Jack you SELFISH BASTARD! You had Przybilla wide open for an alley oop but you forced the shot yourself. Share! After a quick start to the quarter, the Blazers offense has gotten stagnent. Martell and Frye in. Roy just gets fouled by Mikki Moore (a creep who owns dozens of snakes) but ref's rob Brandon of the call. He took a shot in the mouth and is now being checked by the team doc.
Roy was pissed after that one, and he showed it. Never seen him jaw at the ref in the backcourt while the play went on ahead. But dammit, he's an allstar now. He should get that call.
Meanwhile, in no particularly pretty way, Sack has built a five point lead -- their biggest of the game.
Ridiculous loose ball foul called on LaMarcus and this crowd is pissed. And they should be. Hopefully the Rose Garden faithful can be the Sparks that powers Portland back up...
3:00 – Roy knifes through the lane for two. He’s fired up. Not going to let this one get out of hand, or at least, not without a fight. Martell strips Artest near the basket, but Blazers fail to convert. Timeout Kings. Portland 63, Sack 68.
0:00 – All night the Kings defensive rotation has been damn good. When the Blazers do manage to free a man for an open shot, that window of opportunity has been closing fast. Sack is contesting almost everything.
Nice block by Outlaw to end the quarter. Kings 70, Blazers 65.
Man… the one crappy thing about sitting in press row is I can’t yell out my customary “YOU SUCK BLAZE!” Damn…
That was really a terrible quarter for the Blazers. They scored just 14 points and brought their field goal % from 50 down to 42 and three point % from 43 to 21… yikes.
10:51 – That rotten turd Fancisco Garcia hit a thee, which puts the Kings up nine. But on the ensuing possession Jarrett Jack slices through the lane, gets clobbered, and somehow manages to spin the ball in for a chance at three point play. That shot was right out of Barnham and Bailey. Real circus stuff. Completes the three point play.
9:50 – Martell makes an INSANE THREE WHILE FALLING BACK! ON THE NEXT POSSESSION HE HITS ANOTHER! Nine Blazer points in under two minutes and Portland are down only 1! Rose Garden is lit up and ready. Timeout Sack.
9:10 – Travis skies for a rebound, hits the outlet, rushes down the court gets the ball back from Jarrett Jack, goes up, TAKES THE FOUL AND SCORES! Hell of a play young man. He hits the free throw and Portland’s got a two point lead... that is, until Ron Ron nails a three...
6:00 – Hell of a block by LaMarcus turns into a Blazer fast break. Roy hits Martell FOR ANOTHER THREE! HIS THIRD OF THE QUARTER!
But damn, Artest answers with a steal and a layup… Travis on the baseline for another two. Tie game, 83-all.
5:40 – Francisco Garica hits another three. His fourth of the game. WEBSTER ANSWERS WITH HIS FOURTH THREE OF THE QUARTER!
3:54 – WOW. Terrible fucking call. Kevin Martin misses a shot, flops at the last second, and gets a trip to the line. Martell is so pissed – with good reason – that he picks up a technical. The free throws put Sack up by five, 93-88.
Roy rims out a layup! Ouch... that's his shot, it just wouldn't stay down.
2:52: Travis hits a mid-range jumper. He’s looking a lot like he was earlier in the season – a strong fourth quarter presence. He’s got 21. But – god dammnit! – on the other end Ron Ron gets behind the defense and lays in an easy two.
Travis scores again. Blazers down just four.
After a scrum on a missed Artest shot he’s able to tip it in. That could be it… the dagger… Blazers down six with 1:34 to go…
1:34 – What a time for a loose ball foul… a questionable one at that. After a missed Blazer shot Kevin Martin gets a trip to charity land, hits both, and that will probably do it. 100-92, Sack.
1:24 – Artest rips the ball from Roy and that’ll seal this sucker. The Blazers have entered Mike Huckabee Miracle Time now… good night.
Final Score: Sacramento 105, Portland 94
This one tastes about as good as a mouth after a night of drinking and dirty sex. No toothbrushes here. That’s five straight losses in a row. What really stinks about it is that the Kings got all the hustle points and made the big plays despite an energetic Rose Garden crowd. This is the kind of loss that immediately takes an fresh breath of air or wind in the sails that the team might’ve regained over the allstar break.
All of a sudden, things are starting to feel a little more like last year.
Antonio Harvey just said something about “playoff push”, which sounds a little far-fetched at the moment…
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