The Portland Trail Blazers‘ job got a little easier last night when Deron Williams missed the game due to a stomach virus. The Nets fought hard and actually led 85-84 with a little over 5 minutes to play, but the Blazers outscored New Jersey 17-3 in the last five minutes.
BOXSCORE | RECAP
Portland Trailblazers 101, New Jersey 88
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Where: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Officials: #74 Curtis Blair, #6 Tony Brown, #14 Ed Malloy
Portland’s red hot finish to the game helped them to a 101-88 win.
The Blazers are 3.5 games behind Denver for the eighth spot in the playoffs.
Love ‘Em1. Nicolas Batum
Nicolas Batum was the main man in the Blazers terrific finish to the fourth quarter last night. He hit a couple of three-pointers that keyed the team’s 17-3 run.
Batum finished the game with 20 points as well as 10 rebounds.2. Raymond Felton
Raymond Felton doesn’t have to be a star on this team, but he has to distribute the ball well and knock down open shots. This is precisely what he did in last night’s win. Felton was 5 for 8 from the floor for 14 points.
He had nine assists compared to just three turnovers. He also grabbed eight rebounds.3. J.J. Hickson
J.J. Hickson has been tremendous since coming to Portland. He is absolutely a stat-sheet stuffer for this team.
Last night he had 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots.
K. Humphries had 21 Pts, 11 Reb, and 1 Assist in the loss. Maybe he is over Kim. - (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)4. Long Range Shooting
Portland has struggled from beyond the arc much of the season, but the Blazers knocked down 12 of 24 three-point attempts last night.
Hate ‘Em1. Rebounding
New Jersey had 15 offensive rebounds in this one. The Blazers were fortunate that the Nets missed a lot of point blank shots.2. Wesley Matthews and Jamal Crawford
Wesley Matthews put up nine shots from the floor and only made one of them. Jamal Crawford was 3 for 10 from the floor for seven points.
These two are guys that the Blazers count on to score from the shooting guard spot, and they’ll need to pick it up if the Blazers are going to make a run at the last playoff spot.
It won’t be easy this weekend for Portland as they travel to Dallas Friday night and Milwaukee Saturday night.
These are huge games for the Blazers!
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