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The Blazers’ Epic Fourth Quarter Comeback

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

 

BLAZERS 102, PELICANS 93

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IT BEGAN: Horribly. The Blazers were awful through the better part of three quarters. While throwing passes into the stands, clanging three-pointers and watching Anthony Davis run wild, Portland fell behind by as many 16. They were totally discombobulated, frustrated, turnover machines. 

PLOT TWIST: An incredible fourth quarter. Whatever ailed the Trail Blazers--turnovers, sluggishness, The Pelicans' defense--vanished in the final period. There, the Blazers went wild, outscoring the Pelicans a whopping 34-13. Everything that was going so right for New Orleans early got flipped upside-down. 

THE FIRE STARTER: Robin Lopez. The former-Pelican was Portland's catalyst in the fourth. Lopez's unleashed his competitive spirit, making plays that don't show up in the stat sheet, like impressive box-outs and staggering pressure defense. Lopez's attitude was contagious. It forced the crowd--and his teammates--to follow.

 

 

MVP: LaMarcus Aldridge. While Lopez provided the fourth quarter emotion, Aldridge poured in the points. After sitting out Saturday's game with a upper-respiratory illness, Aldridge came alive late, Monday, scoring 10-of-his-22 points and grabbing 5-of-his-9 rebounds in the final period.

LIFE PRESERVER: Chris Kaman. While the Blazers wretched early, Kaman kept them afloat. He finished with 15 points and 10 boards--his first double-double for Portland.

STRANGE STAT: 

 

 

RESPECT DUE: Anthony Davis was magnificent. The 21-year-old looked every bit the future of the league. He blew up the box score with 31 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, three steals. One of those blocks came on a LaMarcus Aldridge fadeaway, a sight seen less than Haley's Comet. 

 

 

But Davis got almost no help. Tyreke Evans, Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday shot a combined 11-of-42 from the field while Davis nailed 14-of-20. And while The Brow seemed to shrink in the fourth as the Blazers ran roughshod, such ignominy can also be, at least partly, blamed on New Orleans' supporting cast, who seemed to go away from the star who got them there. Still, Davis is one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA and a future MVP award candidate. 

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