Trail Blazers win 5th straight, now tied with Spurs
After making a statement W in San Antonio and after today’s landslide of a win over the Mavericks, the Portland Trail Blazers are now tied with the Spurs.
LaMarcus Aldridge continued to validate “The Best PF in the NBA” tag given to him these days as he had another big night with 30 points and 12 caroms to lead Portland over Dallas 127-111. That’s their fifth straight win and each has looked impressive, especially their 109-100 victory at the Spurs’ home floor yesterday.
Their lead in Dallas stretched to as much as 38 points early in the fourth but a 25-2 run by the Mavs brought them within 15 points with barely four minutes remaining in the game.
Portland was basically dominant on both ends of the floor. They played hot potato with the ball on offense until it found the most open man. They shot a superb 51% from the field despite only connecting on 9 out of 26 attempts from deep. On the other end, the Blazers’ rotations were crisp as they limited the Mavs to only 39% shooting from the field.
Robin Lopez provided ample support to Aldridge as he pitched in 16 points, 12 boards, and three blocks.
The Mavs starters were thoroughly outplayed by their counterparts. They only put 43 points on the board with Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis scoring 18 and 15 respectively.
The Paul George-Lance Stephenson duo continues to impress
Paul George had 36 big points (5-6 from 3’s and 12-17 overall) to lead the league-leading Pacers to a 106-92 thumping of the Clippers. The last two of those points came in spectacular fashion — the type that we will surely see over and over again.
We’re a month away from the 2014 NBA All Star Weekend, but it sure looked George put out something that would score 10’s across the board in the dunk contest. Early in the fourth quarter, PG24 was able to break away after getting a hand in the passing lane and then he went all Vince Carter circa 2000 Slam Dunk Contest on us. A 360-windimill brought the house down and basically got the respect of even Blake Griffin.
Along with those 36 points and the dunk contest-material slam, George also finished with 6 assists and three steals, submitting another all-around game.
Speaking of all-around games, PG24’s Robin Hood, Lance Stephenson is making himself a cinch for the All Star Game as he flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 22 points, 12 boards, and 7 assists.
Indiana’s bench contributed well. Danny Granger pitched in with 12 points and now has nine double-figure games in 14 appearances this season while C.J. Watson was sniping well from the perimeter as finished with 11 points.
Indiana’s offense was dope but the Clippers’ bigger problem was Indiana’s firewall of a defense.
Indiana had a 48-39 rebounding edge, a 42-32 edge on points in the paints and limited the high-scoring Clippers to 39.8 percent from the field and six fast-break points.
Jamal Crawford led the Clips with 22 points off the bench, while Blake Griffin had 19 points. DeAndre Jordan had another stellar night with 12 points and 17 rebounds.
Photos by NBA Getty Image