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Saved by the Bell, Blazers Beat Hornets 102-100

Wednesday, November 12, 2014




SAVED BY THE BELL: Gary Neal's buzzer beater is called back. Rather than let time expire,   Damian Lillard missed an ill-advised runner and the Hornets, with :03 seconds left in regulation, were given a chance, down 102-100. Neal went to the hoop and scored, momentarily silencing the Moda Center crowd, who figured the game was headed to overtime. It was not to be, however, as the referee's video review reversed the call. The Oregonian's Bruce Ely captured the play in still form, as the ball is still in the hands of Neal as the red-light clearly shows time has expired.



TURNING POINT: Steve Blake's go-ahead three. After a sluggish start in which the Blazers gave up 35 first quarter points, and after falling behind by as many as 23 points, Steve Blake made his first shot of the evening, a three-pointer with 3:03 left in regulation, giving Portland their first lead of the game. With momentum and the crowd at their back, the Blazers wouldn't trail again.

MVP: LaMarcus Aldridge. Scoring at his usual clip, Aldridge finished with 25 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the floor. His 14 rebounds, however, were a season-high, none was more important than the one he stole off the offensive glass from three nearby Charlotte defenders with :14 seconds remaining. Aldridge filliped it back in for what would be the game-winning basket.

TAKING THE BAD WITH THE GOOD: Damian Lillard. Portland's point guard had 29 points, made five-of-eight of his attempts from downtown, handed out seven assists but also had a whopping six turnovers. Add the rushed final shot that offered Charlotte a speck of daylight and you've got slyly mercurial performance. Even though his scoring is coming on, there a bits he's got to tighten. 




ON TO THE NEXT: The Blazers were without Nicolas Batum, who is listed as day-to-day after suffering a knee contusion Sunday night. As the Blazers headed to the airport directly following Tuesday's win for the second of a back-to-back in Denver, Wednesday night, it would seem wise to leave Batum in Portland for a little extra rest--especially considering how easily the Blazers dispatched of the Nuggets just three days prior.


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