Trail Blazers 96, Warriors 95
These Portland Trail Blazers could nearly be dubbed The
With starters Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum and Marcus Camby among
those out with injuries, the Blazers had just nine available
players but held off the Golden State Warriors for a 96-95 victory
on Friday night.
Six of the available Blazers scored in double figures.
”Being shorthanded it was tough, said second-year forward Dante
Cunningham, who made his first start of the season and had 13
points. ”We definitely needed everybody.”
”Definitely,” echoed LaMarcus Aldridge, standing nearby.
Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Blazers, but
he missed a key jumper with 9.9 seconds to go in the game. That
gave the Warriors a chance to win it on the other end, but Monta
Ellis’ long jumper with 0.8 seconds left was off and fell into the
hands of Portland swingman Rudy Fernandez to end it.
”It sure felt good leaving my hand,” Ellis said. ”It wasn’t a
bad shot. It just didn’t go down.”
Golden State was coming off a 108-99 victory Tuesday over
Minnesota, which snapped a seven-game losing streak. The Warriors
have dropped 13 of 15 overall.
Andre Miller contributed 17 points and eight assists while
Fernandez had 15 points for the Blazers.
”Tonight was a little bit tough. We’re used to playing without
guys, but we’re playing without guys,” Aldridge said, emphasizing
the final ”guys.”
The Blazers led by 15 in the second half but the Warriors
narrowed it to 92-89 on Rodney Carney’s 3-pointer with 3:14 left.
Miller answered for the Blazers with a falling fadeaway and a free
throw to make it 95-89.
After Ellis hit a pair of free throws, Reggie Williams added a
short jumper and Golden State closed to 95-93. Aldridge made one of
two free throws before Ellis sank a pair to make it 96-95 with 33.5
Aldridge missed his 19-footer before Ellis’ failed final attempt
for the Warriors.
Camby, Batum, Roy and Joel Przybilla were all sitting out
because of injuries.
Przybilla has a left ankle injury, while Camby and Batum have
right shoulder soreness. All three were hurt during Friday night’s
107-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The trio will be
re-evaluated on Sunday.
Roy was sitting out the second of at least three games with a
sore left knee. The three-time All-Star also missed three games
earlier this season with knee trouble, and coach Nate McMillan has
at times limited Roy’s minutes.
Roy is averaging 16.9 points per game, falling behind Aldridge
in scoring for the Blazers. Roy will be looked at again by doctors
”You look around. You’re missing Nico (Batum), Marcus, Roy. The
list goes on. It’s amazing,” said Cunningham.
Aldridge said it was weird having so much room on the bench.
”Everybody got like three chairs,” he joked.
The Warriors, meanwhile, were without center Andris Biedrins,
out with a sprained left ankle, and guard Stephen Curry, who missed
his fourth game with a sprained right ankle. Carney returned after
missing six games with a sprained left foot.
With so many regulars sitting out, the pace of the game was
Portland led by as many as five points early, but Vladimir
Radmanovic hit a 3-pointer to pull Golden State to 29-27. Acie
Law’s layup tied it.
Portland reclaimed the lead when Wesley Matthews’ 3-pointer made
The Blazers went on a 16-6 run to close the first half. Miller
hit a jumper before a steal by Ellis and finished off by a
fast-break layup to give the Blazers a 51-42 lead at the break.
Matthews’ dunk made it 69-54 in the third quarter. He finished
with 13 points.
”We did everything we could to win the game, that is the good
thing about it,” Ellis said. ”We have to continue to fight hard,
Notes: Earlier in the day the NBA fined Miller $25,000 for
throwing the ball into the stands following the Blazers’ 103-98
loss to Dallas on Wednesday. … The Blazers recalled rookie
forward Luke Babbitt from the NBA Development League’s Idaho
Stampede earlier in the day. … Cunningham has three career
starts. … Australian guard Patty Mills had a career-high 12
points for Portland.