Aldridge leads Blazers past Wizards 110-99 to halt losing streak
Reeling from an embarrassing loss by the hands of the veteran Celtics, the Portland Trail Blazers (20-21) paid a visit to our nation’s capital to seek revenge on the lowly Washington Wizards (9-30) who rode into the Rose Garden on Valentine’s Day and stomped on some hearts, beating the Blazers in high fashion with some ridiculously hot shooting by the hands of John Wall and Nick Young. This game would end up being Portland’s true winnable match on this seven-game road trip and from the beginning it would be like another tough one to fight through. The Wizards and their overall record seem to fool the Blazers as they look on paper like an awful basketball team but came out shooting that equaled Portland for much of the match. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when the Blazers on the heels of an awesome game from LaMarcus Aldridge were able to put away the Wizards for good and nab their first road victory with a 110-99 win.
The other big story came during the middle of the second quarter when Marcus Camby was attempting to box out Washington forward Kevin Seraphin after a made field goal by Gerald Wallace. Seraphin had his elbow around Camby’s neck and after Camby had enough, he pushed Seraphin away and made it look worse than it actually was. Seraphin flew to the ground and got back up and pushed Camby back, stopping the game and coaches and players had to separate the two before anything else escalated. After viewing the replay, the referees made the call that Camby was to be given a Flagrant 2 foul and also be ejected from the game, while Seraphin was to receive a technical and be allowed to play. This made things difficult for Portland as Joel Przybilla already had three fouls as did Kurt Thomas. Should also note that Blazer fans knew from the start that ref Scott Foster was reffing this game.
Playing little defense, Portland let Washington hang around for too long until it was time to put the game away for good. After the game was tied at 27 after one quarter, Portland had some small bursts of offensive yet struggled to get back on defense, luckily they didn’t have to pay too much when the Wizards would start to miss some open shots.
Aldridge had probably his best game after the All-Star break and was on fire, confusing why the Blazers didn’t give him the ball more on the way he was shooting tonight. He scores 30 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast on 12-15 shooting. Jamal Crawford had to appear in the game early on account of foul trouble on Raymond Felton and scored a bench high 23 Pts, 5 Ast and 3-6 from downtown. Speaking of Felton, although he had 21 Pts and 5 Ast he still made or almost made from dumb decisions that sparked fear into a repeat of last night’s debacle and quite simply is making it easier for the Blazers to trade him away based on his performance.
Portland for the game shoot 53% from the floor while going 26-27 from the free throw line which is awesome, good to see those kinds of numbers again as Portland is a pretty good free throw shooting team. They out rebound Washington 41-39 but fall behind in points in the paint at 46-40, Portland also cut their turnovers from 28 in Boston to just 7 in this game.
Thankfully the Blazers get two days off to rest as they travel to Indiana to play on Tuesday. Be aware this next stretch could be pretty bad, facing the Pacers, Knicks and Bulls this week, so let’s keep our hopes up.
photos courtesy of nba.com/blazers