January 4th, 2011 by ROBERT RUNYON
On a night when Kevin Martin scores 45 points on 18 shots and the BlazersÂ veritablyÂ mail it in during the third quarter, the Portland Trail Blazers find a way to execute down the stretch to beat the Houston Rockets, 103-100.
Truth be told, my schedule tonight has been quite hectic. I have been driving between school , home, school and back home again, fighting the go the good fight in the streets of Portland. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I missed a significant portion of the game. I listened to some on the radio, followed ESPN game cast as I was able, and tried to follow the box score; ultimately, I can’t really report on the flow of this game. Â I’m left with a watery impression of how this game began and ended.
So tonight’s recap will be very short. LaMarcus Aldridge was Â a beast, once again, and essentially won the game for the Blazers. Patty Mills was able to provide maximum contribution in minimum playing time, for the second night in a row. Dante Cunningham filled in for Aldridge admirably (from what I heard from Wheels), and Andre Miller played all veterany, which is so typical, but completely awesome.
Down the stretch, perhaps willing his team not to lose, Aldridge scored 8 of his 25 points, all in the last few minutes of play. He was all, “watch me swish this jumper,” and “oh yeah, i can hook that one, huh? Watch me now!” Want to know who else found a way to step up? Rudy Fernandez. Yeah, he finished with 12 points, many of those coming in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. He also found himself dishing out assists to Aldridge and Miller down the stretch, left and right.
Thank you Rudy for showing up tonight. Rip City needs you, young man. Quit looking at those New York apartments and stick around for another season or two.
This road trip could have been bad but coming into tonight’s game, Â I actually had a little faith in the Blazers. They are better than teams, and are finally playing like they recognize that fact. Aldridge, for the first time of his career, scored 25 points or more in 3 or more consecutive games. Wow, he’s finally coming into the player we’ve all been dying to see. The transformation is incredibly fun to watch.
Next up, the Blazers will take on Kevin Love and ….. yeah, that’s it, in Minnesota on Friday evening. Should be a win. Scratch that, I expect a win.