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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Your Daily (Playoff) Blazer

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Sun, Apr 18, 2010 at 10:47 PM

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Oh yes, that just happened. Despite trying to hand over the lead in the waning seconds—and probably sending countless weak-hearted fans to the E.R.—the Portland Trail Blazers pulled off a stunning upset against the Phoenix Suns, 105-100. The Blazers had not won the opening road game of a playoff series since 1983 (only three Blazers were even alive then), yet keep the Suns close throughout the game.

Andre Miller delivered the greatest night of his career—when the dust settles, this game will be seen as more impressive than his 52 point performance in Dallas—with 31 points to lead all scorers, plus eight assists, and a perfect night from the line as well. While their bench was stellar, and Nash as dependable as ever, the Suns struggled to contain Miller and keep Marcus Camby off the boards. Amare Stoudemire added a quiet 18 for Phoenix, before fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter.

And yes, Portland did everything in their power to cough up the lead in the final minutes; Camby shockingly missed a breakaway dunk and Jerryd Bayless nearly erased his excellent performance by clanking a pair of free-throws in the final seconds. But despite a chance to tie, Nash missed a clear shot from beyond the arch, and the Blazers held on. This victory strips the Suns of the homecourt advantage, and gives the Blazers momentum heading into Tuesday's game.

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