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Monday, April 12, 2010

Blazers vs Thunder - Hot Live Blog Action

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 6:39 PM

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Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder. Remember that stunned look of sadness that came over you when you first heard about Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla's knee injuries? Well get ready to make to revisit that dark place...

Further evaluation of MRI of Brandon Roy’s right knee reveals slight meniscus tear. Roy is out for final two games. Day to day for playoffs.

While it's not as devastating as Oden/Przybilla's kneesplosions, it's yet another crippling blow for the Blazers. A meniscus tear can be serious and while Roy will rest for the next two games, the playoffs tipoff later this week (as in Friday or Saturday) and there is no chance that Roy will be anywhere near 100% when on the court. Plus by delaying surgery until the offseason, he'll risk future knee damage as well.

Just when they thought they were out, the knee injuries pull the Blazers back in...

PRE-GAME:
Roy's knee is a huge distraction from an otherwise important game. The Blazers and Thunder are locked in a three way tie (San Antonio is the lucky pierre in this playoff race) for the Western Conference sixth seed, and if Portland takes tonight's game, they'll have the tiebreaker over Oklahoma City. If they win tonight, and Wednesday against Golden State, the sixth seed is theirs. Possible opponents if they land at six, the Nuggets, Jazz, and Suns. If they lose either of these games, they'll likely end up in the eight seed against the Lakers.

In Roy's place, Rudy Fernandez will get the start. After a season of inconsistencies and poorly hidden hatred of Nate McMillan, Rudy has had a solid run over his past few games. It only took about 78 games for him to resemble the Rudy from last season.

FIRST QUARTER:
11:42 - After the near-riot on Friday following a poorly officiated game against Dallas, the Blazers fans wait all of 18 seconds before booing the first call against the Blazers. That's restraint. 2-0 Thunder.

8:34 - Rudy hits LaMarcus Aldridge for a quick fastbreak dunk. Given the fact that Rudy is going to get Roy's minutes, Portland fans better beg a higher power for a playoff matchup against the Suns. Any other team will be a disaster without Roy, but Phoenix's run-and-game tempo is perfect for Rudy. 10-8 Blazers.

7:40 - Andre Miller with a steal and layup, which leads to Scott Brooks calling a timeout for the Thunder. The Blazers play great on back-to-backs and they are looking mighty fine right now. 15-8 Blazers.

7:04 - Nicolas Batum has been let off his tight leash. His has burned Kevin Durant—whose defense has vastly improved throughout this season—three times so far this game. When God tears open a Blazers' knee, he opens a window? 16-13 Blazers.

2:05 - With Rudy getting the start, that is now 14 different Blazers who have started for the team this season. That stat would be depressing if it wasn't so damn weird. 22-22 tie.

1:37 - Good to see Martell Webster's dumb fouling did not stop at yesterday's game in Los Angeles. He fouls Durant while shooting a three. Three points later, Thunder have the lead. 25-22 Thunder.

0:29 - After Juwan Howard is hit while shooting (without getting the call), Nate McMillan has to be restrained from running out on the court and getting a technical foul. Durant finishes the quarter on a 6-0 run. 28-22 Thunder.

SECOND QUARTER:
10:27 - There is a bird flying around the arena. Watch your knees, Blazers. This evil winged creature is going to tear out your knee ligaments with its beak. 32-24 Thunder.

9:56 - James Harden steals the ball, slips past a weak Andre Miller attempt to get the ball back, and dunks on Martell Webster. Congrats, Martell, you just made SportsCenter (for all the wrong reason). 34-24 Thunder.

8:02 - Wait, the bird might in fact be a bat. Portland, get ready for 20,000 vampires to come pouring out of this arena. 38-32 Thunder.

4:40 - Rudy has scored zero points so far in filling in for Roy. Ugh, it's going to be a long two games (or more). 44-36 Thunder.

1:27 - Tough game for Rudy when he is getting outplayed by Webster. Oh, and the ball just went off Marcus Camby's face and out of bounds. 50-43 Thunder.

0:14 - Russell Westbrook misses a layup in front a three (bigger) Portland players, yet still gets his own rebound. Ugh. I'd suggest fouling him but the Thunder already have 21 free-throw attempts so far. 51-43 Thunder.

THIRD QUARTER:
11:22 - Batum with the first points of the half. That was something we didn't see in the last quarter. Camby follows with the jumper and now the crowd is back into the game (and so are the Blazers). 51-47 Thunder.

9:49 - Batum with a breakaway dunk and the Blazers have tied the game at 51. This is a 8-0 run from Camby and Batum to start off the break. 51-51 tie.

9:07 - Miller with a running hook shot? What the holy hell is going on here? 10-0 Blazers run. 53-51 Blazers.

7:12 - Rudy gets on the board with a three. Durant answers with one of his own. One play later Westbrook chokes on a wideopen breakaway dunk in a dramatic fashion. I don't think I've ever seen a ball ricochet off the rim that high, which helped the Blazers get the rebound and convert a fastbreak and-one. That was a possible five point swing. 61-60 Thunder.

6:10 - McMillan finally gets that technical foul he was trying to get earlier. Not sure what he was arguing, Camby definitely fouled Jeff Green on that play. 64-61 Thunder.

4:34 - I say a lot of mean things about Webster, but when he scores at the basket (not by chucking up 40 foot prayers) it makes this team better. 64-63 Thunder.

2:56 - Aldridger with a quick pump fake and baby hook shot in the paint to take back the lead. He and Camby are the only two players in double digits. 67-66 Blazers.

2:02 - Webster with an airball then a stupid foul off a screen, which places the Blazers over the penalty. I think Roy should just take Webster's knee ligaments from him as he sleeps. 68-67 Thunder.

0:00 - It took all game, but Bayless hits a dramatic breakaway layup as the clock expires. He ends up in the first row of seats, but it was worth it. Blazers lead. 73-71 Blazers.

FOURTH QUARTER:
9:36 - I'm still undecided if Portland is better off losing this game and trying to meet the Lakers in the first round. The odds are getting the Suns are pretty slim, and at least a Lakers series would guarantee national attention and the small chance at a historic upset. 81-79 Thunder.

7:00 - Camby hits the 26 mark. That's his season high and now he has more than Durant. Thank god for contract seasons. 85-84 Blazers.

5:45 - Smart play by Miller to push the Thunder into the penalty by drawing a foul under the basket. The Blazers have nearly six minutes of free throws coming. 88-86 Blazers.

4:24 - Aldridge goes to the hook shot again. If he can get that to fall, it should be his go-to shot. Serge Ibaka reacts by picking up a dumb whistle and he has now fouled out, plus pushed Camby closer to the 30 point mark. He has 28 and the Blazers have their biggest lead of the game. 93-88 Blazers.

3:19 - Batum with a dunk, then Miller caps the 9-0 with a layup. The OKC bench is about to cry. This wasn't a game they were supposed to lose. 97-88 Blazers.

1:50 - Nick Collison tackles LaMarcus Aldridge on a breakway. It was a flagrant, but for some reason Collison stays in the game. 100-93 Blazers.

1:07 - Miller and Camby have a combined 52 points so far. That is insane. 101-95 Blazers.

0:18 - This really is an unbelievable game. Just when you think this team is spent, something like this happens. 101-95 Blazers.

0:00 - And that'll do it. An excellent 103-95 victory for the Blazers, and their 50th win on the year. Wow. We'll see you here Wednesday evening. Have a good night.

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