Friday in Portland, the Trail Blazers beat the Rockets 99-98, eliminating Houston in six games from the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 13 rebounds in the win. But the play of the day was Damian Lillard hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer to win it for the Blazers. Here are multi-angle video highlights of Lillard’s game-winning shot:
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Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Jeremy Lin came off the bench to score 21 points and help the Houston Rockets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-98 on Wednesday night to avoid elimination.
The Trail Blazers lead the first-round series 3-2 entering Game 6 on Friday in Portland.
A basket by Damian Lillard got the Trail Blazers within two points before James Harden stepped back and swished a 3-pointer to make it 103-98 with about three minutes left. The shot brought the crowd, which was clad almost completely in red shirts emblazoned with the words “Clutch City” on them, to its feet.
That started a 12-0 Houston run to close it out. Harden finished with 17 points and seven assists.
Houston finally slowed down LaMarcus Aldridge, limiting him to eight points, after he averaged 35.3 points in the first four games. Wesley Matthews led the Blazers with 27 points and Lillard added 26.
– Associated Press
His colorful coaching style was matched only by his equally colorful fashion sense on the sidelines. But sadly, the most prolific head coach in Portland Trail Blazers history has passed away, according to family members. Dr. Jack Ramsay, who coached the franchise to its first and only NBA Championship in 1977, lost his battle with cancer during his sleep early today in Naples, Florida. Affectionately called “Dr. Jack” by Trail Blazers fans and all around the NBA, Ramsay was 89.
Ramsay coached the Trail Blazers from 1976-1986, highlighted by defeating the Philadelphia 76ers for the 1977 NBA Title. Overall, Ramsay accumulated a record of 864 wins and 783 losses in 21 years of coaching with four NBA franchises - Philadelphia (1968-72), Buffalo (1972-76), Portland and Indiana (1986-89). His record in 10 seasons at the helm for the Trail Blazers was 453-367 (.552). In 1992, Ramsay was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, along with the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. The Number “77” hangs retired in the rafters of Moda Center in salute to Ramsay.
“The Portland Trail Blazers and indeed the NBA have lost an authentic original in Dr. Jack Ramsay. In leading this franchise to its first NBA Championship, Dr. Jack set a standard of excellence for his players, coaches and all who crossed his path,” said Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen. “He was that rarest of men with a unique style that was inspirational and motivational about basketball and life itself. We loved him as a coach, as a broadcaster and as a human being.”
“We have lost one of the pivotal figures in the history of our franchise. Dr. Jack not only led this organization to its first NBA Championship, but his indomitable spirit and character impacted the lives of our players, coaches, fans and staff,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and Moda Center. “He is – and always will be – the personification of a true Trail Blazer. We will miss him, and so will the world of sports.”
“Few people have made a bigger impact on the Trail Blazers organization, the city of Portland or the game of basketball than Dr. Jack,” said Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey. “As the son of a Naval Veteran myself, I have always valued and admired Dr. Jack’s service in the United States Navy and dedication to our country. In the end, not only have we lost a Trail Blazers great and basketball icon, but in fact a national treasure.”
Ramsay stepped into the broadcast booth in 1990 as a television analyst for the Miami Heat. But his most extensive and best-known span as a broadcaster came as an NBA analyst for ESPN Radio, stretching from 1996-2013.
“I have always had tremendous respect and admiration for Coach Ramsay. He was a great coach, a great person, and a great ambassador of the game of basketball,” said Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts. “He had a positive influence on many players and coaches throughout the years, including myself. He will be missed and will always be remembered as a true Trail Blazer.”
“I was with him every day he was here in Portland, and I can’t think of a funnier guy on the face of this earth, or someone who had a bigger influence on the way I think about basketball and life in general,” said legendary Trail Blazers broadcaster Bill Schonely. “As far as the game of basketball, he was a genius. He had the great ability to put a group of people together as a TEAM. And that was his great success. He was an outstanding teacher of the game.”
Here’s the Oregonian reporting on Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley. Houston is facing the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the NBA playoffs:
Patrick Beverley limped badly, sat on the bench by himself while his teammates were huddled and generally looked like a player whose postseason had come to a screeching halt Sunday after he was injured during the Houston Rockets’ overtime loss to the Trail Blazers in Game 1 of their Western Conference series.
But instead of losing their defensive-minded point guard, the Rockets will apparently have him back in the lineup Wednesday for Game 2 at the Toyota Center.
The Rockets announced Sunday that Beverley suffered a sprain to his right knee, the same knee in which he suffered a meniscus tear last month, sidelining him for eight games. But the team announced Monday that Beverley “had a knee examination which revealed no acute issues. He will likely be available for Game 2 Wednesday.”
On Sunday the Trail Blazers beat the Rockets 122-120 in overtime, getting 46 points and 18 rebounds from forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The Blazers now lead the first round playoff series 1-0. Here are some video highlights of Aldridge’s great performance:
Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the Trail Blazers, who are set to face the Rockets tonight for Game 1 in their first round playoff series:
After slipping on his sneakers and lacing them up, Dorell Wright rose from the chair in front of his locker and surveyed the scene around the Trail Blazers’ locker room.
They had just defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, 110-104, in the final game of the regular season, winning for the ninth time in 10 games, and Wright had a knowing feeling. He had been in this situation before and he sensed something familiar, something exciting, in the room.
“There’s a hunger in here,” Wright said. “A lot of hungry guys.”
So hungry, in fact, it reminded Wright of his second NBA season, when he was a wide-eyed teenager along for the ride as the Miami Heat won a championship.
“When I played on that championship team, there was a lot of older hungry guys,” Wright said. “Guys that had been playing for so long and never got that opportunity. We’ve got the pieces in here to be special. And we’ve got guys that are hungry. When you’ve got guys that are hungry and willing to do anything to win and sacrifice their games, it’s a good feeling.”
Dorell Wright hadn’t hit a game-winner since high school, and certainly he’d never had a winner that was his only basket of the game.
But on Wednesday night, Wright hit a 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the late-charging Sacramento Kings 100-99.
The three points amounted to his final total.
“That was pretty cool right there,” the nine-year NBA veteran said after the game. “Especially since I was mad at myself for not making my shots the whole game.”
Ray McCallum missed a 21-foot jumper as time ran out for the Kings and Portland’s Robin Lopez grabbed the rebound and held it tight for the victory.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points to lead the Blazers, who have won six of their past seven games.
– Associated Press
Here’s the Columbian reporting on the Portland Trail Blazers, who have clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs:
“I think everybody is excited about it, but we understand that these three games are really important for us,” said Damian Lillard when asked how things have changed since Portland clinched a playoff spot with Robin Lopez’s arm draped over his shoulders.
Lillard, Lopez, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum did their media interviews in what was basically giant group-hug in Tualatin.
With a 2-game lead over Golden State for the fifth spot in the Western Conference playoffs, the Blazers would face Houston next. The Rockets are now all but cemented as the No. 4 seed.
Golden State, the team chasing the Blazers, comes to Portland on April 13 with a chance to win the season series tiebreaker should the two teams finish with the same record and pick up a game in the standings.
Lopez said on the Blazers’ mentality: “I think we really want to get these next two. If we win these two, then beat Golden State that puts us in pretty good position.”
Here’s the Oregonian reporting good news on the Portland Trail Blazers:
LaMarcus Aldridge will play when the Trail Blazers play the Atlanta Hawks, he said Thursday after the team’s shootaround at Philips Arena.
“I’m going,” Aldridge said. “We’ll see how it goes, but I’m going.”
Aldridge has not played since suffering a nasty fall at San Antonio on March 12. After losing that game, the Blazers lost four of their next seven, including all three to start the five-game road trip they are on.
Aldridge held a workout here Wednesday with several of Portland’s post players. He said he still feels some pain in the back when he runs, but he said it’s just time he plays.
The following is an announcement from the Portland Trail Blazers:
While the Portland Trail Blazers are battling toward an NBA Playoff berth on the court, the business side of the organization is setting its sights on major venue improvements off the court. Trail Blazers and Moda Center President & CEO Chris McGowan has announced the first phases of nearly $16 million in upgrades and new concepts for the Moda Center and Rose Quarter; combined with more development of the team training facilities in Tualatin. When completed, the multi-year makeovers will represent the most sweeping changes in the Rose Quarter since it first opened in 1995; and the largest single investment by Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen in capital improvements for the entire organization.
“What we have in mind for the Moda Center and the Rose Quarter is in direct response to what fans and sponsors have said they’d like to see in a multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue,” said McGowan. “Our owner Paul Allen has always been supportive of investment in our venues and team facilities. During the upcoming offseason, there will be extensive construction around the Moda Center that will raise the level of what guests can experience on almost any night at the Rose Quarter.”
“The initial multi-million dollar upgrades at the team training facility unveiled by General Manager Neil Olshey at the start of this season were the beginning of multiple levels of capital improvements,” said Chris Oxley, General Manager of Rose Quarter Operations and the executive overseeing construction projects. “We’re now expanding the renovations to include Rose Quarter areas that we believe guests and sponsors will be excited to experience. There are also even more improvements coming to the team training facility in 2015 that will place it among the best in the NBA.”
Phase One of the Rose Quarter capital improvements will target refurbishment of 1,800 Club Level Seats inside the Moda Center and the complete renovation of 20 of the arena’s 66 private suites. It will take about two years to eventually renovate all Moda Center suites, according to Anthony Jones-DeBerry, Trail Blazers Vice President of Premium Seating. Also among the changes planned for the Suite Level is the construction of never-before-available “Studio Suites,” as they will be marketed to potential purchasers.
“Our new approach to Premium Seating will be transformational, but will take time to fully complete,” said Jones-DeBerry. “Along with direct feedback from guests, we’ve also factored in research conducted at other entertainment venues around the country. Our goal is to blend totally new concepts with complete renovations and strategic upgrades to the Moda Center.”
“The Studio Suites will offer a unique, more intimate approach to private suite viewing, with seating for four guests and smaller, white linen-covered dining tables,” he added. “We will build twelve Studio Suites, and offer food and beverage packages customized for guest capacities that are smaller than our full-size suites.”
Two longtime offerings on the Club Level will also change beginning with the 2014-15 season. The all-inclusive Chef’s Table that Club Level ticketholders have accessed for many years will be replaced with a multi-option ticket, which includes a $30 credit that guests can use for their preferred method of accessing food, beverages and merchandise in the Moda Center. The prestigious Rose Room will also be upgraded into a private membership-based club catering to guests desiring more business-friendly atmosphere and amenities for a unique dining experience before, during and after games.
“Our arena has lacked a true offering for business-to-business networking and client conversation. The new Rose Room will satisfy that demand with a food and beverage experience only accessible through private membership,” said Jones-DeBerry. “For the Club Level, feedback from guests revealed a desire for something different and more flexible than an all-you-can-eat option. We will offer a Club Level ticket that can be designed specifically around how individual guests want to enjoy a Trail Blazers game. It will include access to the new gourmet concessions and popular restaurant brands now operating in the Moda Center; and the ability to purchase merchandise.”
Guests seated in the lofty 300 Level of the Moda Center are in for a special treat with the building of a new glass-enclosed bar featuring panoramic views of downtown Portland. The space will be a free-flowing design, which opens toward the 300 Level Concourse for easy access. The addition of the bar truly spreads the arena’s upgrades throughout the building, offering something new for every fan.
The list of other Rose Quarter capital improvements also includes:
· Retail kiosks placed on the arena’s upper levels for better access to merchandise;
· A plush new suite holders’ lounge adjacent to the private suites;
· New, environmentally-friendly landscaping around the Rose Quarter;
· Upgrades to Moda Center Wi-Fi access plus installation of a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) for wireless phones;
· Specialty LED lighting encircling the top of the Moda Center and capable of changing colors in connection with Rose Quarter events;
· Complete redesign of the Trail Blazers basketball court as voted on by fans; and
· Refurbishment of the signature fountain on the south end of the Rose Quarter Commons.
Prior to announcing the capital improvements, the Trail Blazers front office invested in consumer research, analytics and direct conversations with ticketholders that provided useful intelligence for planning purposes. Many recent moves, like the addition of popular Portland restaurant icons to the Moda Center’s main level concourse, are linked to feedback from Trail Blazers fans. The just-opened Dr. Jack’s restaurant in the Rose Quarter is a further step in the plan to energize the entire complex.
“This process has evolved at a very strategic pace, with specific outcomes driven by our fans,” McGowan said. “We began the research more than a year ago to get some early guidance to help shape our thinking. By the time this is finished, we anticipate having an exciting sports and entertainment venue where fans feel they’ve contributed to its development.”
Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the Portland Trail Blazers:
Almost nothing seems to be coming easy for the Trail Blazers these days, not even a win over the worst team in the NBA.
A win did come over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, but it took a clutch shot by Damian Lillard just to get the game to overtime, where Wesley Matthews’ heroics helped the Blazers finally put the Bucks away for a 120-115 victory before 19,572 at the Moda Center.
“We understand that we were very fortunate to win the game tonight,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
The Blazers (44-24) had struggled to close out tight games against elite teams recently, and that issue surfaced again against the Bucks (13-55), who have the worst record in the NBA and had only beaten two Western Conference teams all season.
You know, food and health are pretty important. Here’s the Oregonian with an update on Portland Trail Blazers home game offerings:
The Trail Blazers have added another option to the food makeover of the Moda Center.
The organization has added a “healthy food” spot named Plum Tasty that will feature “nutrient-rich, minimally processed menu items.” Plum Tasty will debut Tuesday night, when the Blazers host the Milwaukee Bucks, and will be located outside entry A9 on the Moda Center’s 100-level concourse.
A variety of “grab-and-go” options will be available at Plum Tasty, including a selection of gluten-free and dairy-free items. Every food option will meet a host of the following nutritional guidelines: minimally processed whole food ingredients rich in nutrients; less than 35% calories from fat, with a focus on healthy fats; less than 600 mg of sodium; limited refined carbohydrates.
The Portland Trail Blazers have assigned rookie guard Allen Crabbe to the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.
Crabbe, 21, is averaging 2.0 points, 0.2 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 4.9 minutes in 12 games for the Trail Blazers this season. Acquired by Portland in a draft day trade with Cleveland, Crabbe was the 31st overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft out of California.
Crabbe’s assignment to Idaho is the second of the season for the Trail Blazers, who assigned CJ McCollum to the Stampede from Jan. 1-5.
Idaho plays host to Santa Cruz on Wednesday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific). The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network (Comcast channel 725).
Here’s the Denver Post reporting on an upcoming Nuggets opponent:
The Nuggets will catch a break in facing Portland tonight with the Trail Blazers playing without star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is resting a groin injury.
And they’ll take it.
“I normally like to face a team when they’re at full strength, to get the best out of us and the best out of them,” Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said.
Then he smiled.
“But this is one instance where after that 44 that he gave us, his career high, I don’t mind that he’s out,” Shaw said. “We’ve played him twice, and he’s kind of had his way with us both times, so I hope whatever ailment he has, he gets better, but I’m not mad he’s not going to face us tonight.”
Here’s the Oregonian reporting on Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge, who needed a health check:
There was a notable absence at the Trail Blazers’ practice facility on Tuesday: LaMarcus Aldridge.
The All-Star power forward skipped the team’s first post All-Star-break practice for a visit with the doctor and an evaluation of his tender groin. It’s unclear what type of medical testing Aldridge was undergoing and what his availability will be moving forward.
Coach Terry Stotts refused to label his status for Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, saying the team would “find out” after his visit with doctors.
Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the latest fun show put on by the Portland Trail Blazers, who continue to play like one of the best teams in the league:
The Trail Blazers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 134-104 Thursday night at the Moda Center, improving to 26-7 on the season and moving into the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Blazers, who are rewriting the franchise three-point record book this season, had another blistering night from behind the arc and threatened to establish an NBA record for long-range shooting in the convincing victory over the Bobcats.
The Blazers made 21 three-pointers — tying a franchise record they set earlier this season — as seven different players made at least one three. The starting lineup was particularly hot, making 14 of 16, but no one was cold as the Blazers shot 64 percent (21-33). Wesley Matthews went 5 for 6, Mo Williams went 3 for 5 and Damian Lillard went 6 for 6, becoming the second player in franchise history to make at least six threes without a miss. Terry Porter also accomplished the feat in 1992.
The 21 threes equaled the franchise record set Dec. 14 during a win at Philadelphia and the Blazers became the first team in NBA history to make 20 or more threes twice in the same season.
The Boston Celtics’ Jordan Crawford and the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 8.
Crawford led the Celtics to the East’s lone perfect mark on the week at 3-0, behind averages of 23.3 points (fourth in the conference) on .610 shooting from the field (sixth in the conference), 6.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds. Crawford connected on 12-of-23 three-point field goals on the week, including a career-high six makes from distance on Dec. 8, during a 114-73 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Aldridge led the Trail Blazers to a 3-1 week, including wins over the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder. He posted a point-rebound double-double in each of Portland’s four games, and averaged 26.3 points (third in the conference), 12.8 rebounds (fifth in the conference), 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals. On Dec. 4, Aldridge collected 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists during a 111-104 win over the Thunder.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Detroit’s Andre Drummond and Brandon Jennings, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Indiana’s Paul George and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant.
Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut and Portland Trail Blazers guard Mo Williams have each been suspended one game without pay for fighting after Bogut initiated an incident by elbowing Trail Blazers center Joel Freeland in the jaw.
In addition, for escalating the incident, Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been fined $45,000, and Portland guard Wesley Matthews and Golden State forward Draymond Green have been fined $20,000 each.
The incident occurred with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter of the Trail Blazers’ 113-101 win over the Warriors on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Oracle Arena.
The penalties were announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.
Williams will serve his suspension tonight when the Trail Blazers host the New York Knicks. Bogut will serve his suspension on Tuesday, Nov. 26, when the Warriors visit the New Orleans Pelicans.
To view the play, click on this link.
The Portland Trail Blazers have placed guards Dee Bost and E.J. Singer and forward Richard Howell on waivers, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.
Bost appeared in four preseason games averaging 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds, while Singler averaged 1.0 point and 1.0 assist in two appearances and Howell averaged 1.0 rebound and 1.0 assist in one appearance.
Portland’s roster now stands at 15.
Portland guard CJ McCollum successfully underwent a non-operative ultrasound procedure today to repair the fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot. The procedure, which is designed to promote bone growth, was performed at the OrthoCarolina Foot and Ankle Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina by Dr. Robert Anderson.
McCollum will remain sidelined indefinitely and will be reevaluated in six weeks.