NBA

After win over Utah, Blazers draw Pelicans in playoffs

usatsi_10782168_147386290_lowres.jpg
NBCSNW

After win over Utah, Blazers draw Pelicans in playoffs

Before tipoff of tonight’s game against the Jazz, the Blazers found out who they would be playing in the first round of the playoffs: The New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans beat the Spurs, and Oklahoma City beat Memphis, meaning that no matter the outcome against Utah, Portland would matchup with New Orleans.

According the Trail Blazers Twitter account this is the first time since 2009 that the Blazers have had homecourt advantage in the first round.

The Blazers took care of their own business and defeated the Utah Jazz to claim the third seed in the Western Conference. Check out the schedule (Games on NBCS NW!) here. 

Box Score: Portland 102, Utah 93

Quick Hit:

Podcast:

 

Lillard’s return not enough to lift Blazers

usatsi_10775429.jpg
USA Today

Lillard’s return not enough to lift Blazers

The Trail Blazers lost to the Spurs on Saturday, 116-105, distorting the already unclear standings in the Western Conference.

A win would have secured home court for the Blazers. Instead, the Blazers now hold just a 1.5-game lead over Utah, and a two-game lead New Orleans, San Antonio, and OKC. There is no telling what the final standings will look like. 

The Blazers magic number is still one - A win in either of their two remaining games can still secure home court. 

Damian Lillard scored 33 points in his return, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Blazers. Portland falls to 48-32 with two games remaining: at No.9 Denver, and home against No.4 Utah. The only thing that is clear right now is that this season is may just come down to the final seconds of the regular season.

Final Score: Spurs 116 – Trail Blazers 105

Blazers lose, but Baldwin and the reserves put on a show

Blazers lose, but Baldwin and the reserves put on a show

The Blazers trailed most of this game. That was until the bench decided they wanted to make it a game. With about four minutes remaining in the game it looked like Stotts was waving the white flag when he emptied his bench, including an appearance by Georgios Papagiannis, and was ready to call it a night. Portland trailed by 17. Then suddenly, they didn’t.

The reserves went on an amazing 17-0 run that came out of nowhere, and a Pat Connaughton layup tied it up with six seconds remaining. The Rockets had one last shot, and Chris Paul hit a go-ahead bucket with .8 seconds remaining. McCollum would get a shot off before time expired, but his game winner would hit right rim and bounce out. It was a epic comeback that fell just short, but it was a heck of a game in those final four minutes.

Plus Portland gets some good injury news, watch the update from Jason Quick in the video above. 

Final Score: Rockets  96 – Blazers 94

Disappointment in Dallas

usatsi_10763581.jpg
USA Today

Disappointment in Dallas

The injury-riddled Dallas Mavericks played a pesky game of basketball on Tuesday, making the Blazers work hard for anything and everything. In the end it was hard to swallow road loss for Portland.

The Blazers struggled all night, especially from three-point range where they shot just 10 for 40, with Lillard, McCollum, and Aminu going a combined 4 for 25. 

The Blazers could have secured the three seed with a win, and a Utah loss, but now the have opened the door back up for the San Antonio Spurs to sneak up and steal it.

Portland still sits in third place, but can’t relax with Houston, San Antonio, and Denver left on this final road trip. 

Final in Dallas: Mavericks 115 – Blazers 109

Podcast:

Blazers clinch playoff berth

Blazers clinch playoff berth

The Blazers clinched a playoff berth on Sunday night, and they didn’t even have to lift a finger.

Portland needed to beat the Grizzlies, or have a loss by either the Nuggets or the Timberwolves to clinch a spot. They got the help the needed when Minnesota was blown out by the Utah Jazz, 121-97.

There is still plenty of work for the Blazers despite the good news. Portland sits just 2.5 games ahead of the fourth seed San Antonio Spurs, and just four games ahead of seventh seed Minnesota.

With the playoffs locked in, all that is left for Portland to do is lock down home court advantage. The Blazers have five games left on the schedule after tonight: A four game road trip that sees them take on Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Denver before wrapping up the season at home on April 11 against the Utah Jazz. 

 

Blazers move one-step closer to clinching a playoff birth

usatsi_10749049.jpg
USA Today

Blazers move one-step closer to clinching a playoff birth

The Blazers moved one-step closer to the playoffs on Friday, beating the Los Angeles Clippers, 105-96. The game started about a slow as possible, with both teams missing their first six shots before settling in. Portland had the 26-23 lead after the first quarter, but then flipped the switch in a big way in the second.

The Blazers set sights on doing damage to the rim. Dunk after dunk went down with authority, and the lead quickly ballooned to a point the Clippers just couldn’t come back. Portland put on a show and in the end they cruised to victory.

However, the win may have come at a price. Ed Davis rolled his ankle in the third quarter and did not return to the game. X-rays were negative, and coach Stotts said Davis was getting an MRI postgame. Davis’ status for Sunday’s game against Memphis is unknown. 

With or without Davis, the Blazers will be looking forward to Sunday’s matchup. They not only get a chance to avenge the tough loss the Grizzlies handed them in Memphis on Wednesday, but a victory will clinch the playoffs.

No time like overtime to grab a victory over the Hornets

usatsi_10595411.jpg
USA Today

No time like overtime to grab a victory over the Hornets

The Blazers almost let one slip away on their home floor, but did just enough in the end to pick up the 109-103 victory over the Hornets. The Blazers led my as many as 17pts, but the turnover bug came back and bit them in the fourth quarter allowing Charlotte to get back in the game. The Blazers came up short of a game winning bucket with just over a second remaining in the regulation, giving the Hornets one last. However, on the final possession Jusuf Nurkic came up with the game saving block and sent the game to overtime. It was there that the Blazers put things away and grabbed the win.

Final Score: 109 – 103

 

Trail Blazers trade Vonleh to Bulls for the rights to Milovan Rakovic

usatsi_10534347.jpg
USA Today

Trail Blazers trade Vonleh to Bulls for the rights to Milovan Rakovic

PORTLAND, Ore. (February 8, 2018)The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired the NBA rights to center Milovan Rakovic from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Noah Vonleh and cash considerations, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

Rakovic, 32, was selected with the 60th overall pick in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. A native of Serbia, he currently plays for Neuchatel in Switzerland.

Vonleh, 22, averaged 3.9 points (45.7% FG, 27.8% 3-PT, 68.8% FT), 4.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 15.8 minutes in 185 games (109 starts) over three seasons with the Trail Blazers.

“We’d like to thank Noah for his contributions to the team both on and off the court and wish him all the best for the future,” said Olshey.

Blazers run out of gas in the Motor City

usatsi_10589309.jpg
USA Today

Blazers run out of gas in the Motor City

It was another tough night on the road for the Trail Blazers, as they fell to the Detroit Pistons on Monday, 111-91. Is was the second night of a back-to-back for the Blazers, and it looked like fatigue caught up to them. For the Blazers, they head back home limping after going 0-3 on this road trip. For the Pistons, they have now won four in a row and are undefeated since acquiring Blake Griffin from the Clippers.

Final Score in Detroit: Piston 111 – Blazers 91

Horford serves Blazers heartbreak at the buzzer

usatsi_10586895_1.jpg
USA Today

Horford serves Blazers heartbreak at the buzzer

Heartbreak in Boston as the Blazers fall to the Celtics, 97-96. The Blazers lad by as many as 16 points, but the wheels fell off in the second half. The shorthanded Celtics (playing without Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, and Marcus Morris) finally got the offense rolling and slowly chipped away. Boston tied the game with 3:34 remaining, 85-85, and seized all the momentum. Portland came back to take a one point lead with seven seconds remaining, but Al Horford landed the knockout punch when he hit a 16-foot jumper to give the Celtics the lead as time expired.

The Blazers fall to 0-2 on this road trip, and head to Detroit Monday to take on the Pistons. 

Final Score:  Celtics 97 – Blazers 96