So I’m going to try something a little different tonight, I’m going to attempt to live blog this evenings match-up between the Blazers and the Celtics.
Portland and Boston are set to square off at 6:00 PM at the Rose Garden. Tonight’s game is being broadcast on KGW, and is available on the radio at KXTG.
Blazers Starting 5: PG Damian Lillard, SG Wesley Matthews, SF Nicolas Batum, PF LaMarcus Aldridge, C J.J. Hickson
Celtics Starting 5: PG Avery Bradley, SG Courtney Lee, SF Paul Pierce, PF Brandon Bass, C Kevin Garnett
The RG is full of Celtics fans, so we’ll see how that goes.
Christoph Waltz gets Oscar night rolling by snagging the award for best Supporting Actor. I’ll be updating the Oscars as they go too.
All five starters reach double figures in scoring. Wesley Matthews leads the way with 24. Nicolas is next with 18, then LaMarcus with 16, Damian with 12, and J.J. Hickson with 11.
This game came down to four possessions, two for each team. Portland converted on an and one from Damian and a three from Wesley Matthews on their two possessions, Paul Pierce came up empty two times on both of the Celtics’ last two possessions. Those six points were the difference in this game.
Oscar update: Argo wins Best Adapted Screenplay. My prediction is that this means it won’t win Best Picture.
That’s the end of this live blog, if you were reading along, thanks!
Spinning step-back two from Paul Pierce is long, LaMarcus grabs the rebound giving Portland a possession with the shot clock running.
The Blazers don’t score, but Damian tracks down the offensive rebound, Boston elects to not foul, and this game is over.
Everybody knows it’s hard to lose eight straight games in the NBA.
92-86 Blazers FINAL
Paul Pierce misses a long jumper and the RG rises as one. Wesley Matthews rewards the home crowd with a BIG TIME three. He’s been stroking it all night.
Doc Rivers calls a 20.
92-86 53.6 seconds remaining fourth quarter
Damian Lillard drives hard to the rim, gets the bucket and the foul. The RG EXPLODES, really explodes. It’s the home town response to the loud cheer that follows every made Celtic basket.
If I had to rank them, I would say the Lakers are number one for visiting team fans, but the Celtics fans are a close second. This bunch is loud. I’ve seen Portland beat Boston in the Rose Garden once before (08-09 season) and that was a pretty satisfying win for the home team. If the Blazers can hold on to this one, there are going to be a lot of very happy local fans.
Oscar update: Adele now has an Oscar.
89-86 Blazers 1:32 remaining fourth quarter
Lillard misses from distance (like deep distance), but Boston can’t capitalize. Next time down Nicolas misses a long two (neither one are great looks), and this time KG makes Portland pay. Tie game.
86-86 1:35 remaining fourth quarter
Brandon Bass gets a reverse lay-up to cut Portland’s lead to two, and Terry Stotts takes a timeout.
Looking out on the RG, the lower bowl might be one to one Blazer/Celtic fans. Rooting for the away team is something I understand, but also something I think needs to be explored on a more scientific level. By that I mean, what causes somebody to walk into a gym knowing that they’re rooting for the team most of the other people there are rooting against?
There are plenty of people in the Rose Garden tonight who might have an answer to that.
86-84 Blazers 2:53 remaining fourth quarter
I’ve noticed that Damian Lillard doesn’t get a ton of calls going to the rim. Kevin Garnett, on the other hand, does. OK, he did get mugged by three Blazers, but still, Dame got knocked off his feet the last time down and got nothing.
J.J. Hickson slips to the hoop and banks one home over KG, who plays facilitator on the other end to Paul Pierce. Trading baskets now isn’t a horrible idea as long as Portland keeps scoring.
86-82 Blazers 3:07 remaining fourth quarter
Nice pick and pop action between LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews pushes Portland’s lead to eight and forces a timeout from Doc Rivers.
As it stands at this moment, Victor Claver and J.J. Hickson are tied for the team lead in rebounds with 10 each. Claver rebounding in extended minutes is a development to pay attention to. He’ll get minutes if he contributes something. He does have to work on catching the ball though. He let a zip pass from LaMarcus end up in the seats. Not a good idea when you’re wide open.
82-74 Blazers 5:48 remaining fourth quarter
Eight rebounds for Victor Claver. Wesley Matthews hits another big three off a drive and dish from Damian Lillard.
The Claver development is interesting because talk around the team is that Stotts likes him as a stretch four over Luke Babbitt. Vic doesn’t really stretch the floor like Luke, so mostly what Stotts is saying is that he flat out likes Victor more than he likes Luke (as a player, I assume not as a person).
80-74 Blazers 6:36 remaining fourth quarter
Jordan Crawford, of the 30-footer at the buzzer to win here when he was with the Washington Wizards earlier this season, is in the game.
Oscar update: In memorium is always sad.
77-73 7:41 remaining fourth quarter
Terrance Williams picks up a foul on Nicolas Batum as Nic is shooting a three-pointer. Those kind of fouls can really hurt a guy’s chances of a second 10-day contract (I’m not sure if Williams is on his first 10-day or his second but still).
Guy sitting behind me shouts “Take him out,” about Meyers Leonard, and Stotts responds by taking him out. He then shouts “Why would you do that,” to Eric Maynor after he takes and misses an uncontested fast break jumper. So maybe Maynor won’t do that again.
Also, Maynor isn’t exactly a shooter. He’s not Andre Miller, set-shot awkward, but it’s not his best look.
77-73 Blazers 8:58 remaining fourth quarter
Terrance Williams and Damian Lillard trade buckets to open the fourth. KG adds a long two, which is answered by Victor Claver.
Maynor and Lillard on the floor to start the quarter, which means they might not be on it together to finish.
Oscar update correction: My last update should have read PRODUCTION design award.
75-73 Blazers 10:06 remaining fourth quarter
Wesley Matthews can’t connect on a step-back three with half a tick left in the quarter. Meyers Leonard also can’t catch it and put it in even though he’s standing alone under the hoop.
Scoring slowed to a halt in the third quarter, which favors Boston. Is the Blazers want to hold onto their lead and get a much needed win, they’ll either have to score a lot more in the fourth or make almost no ball handling/passing mistakes. Either one is possible.
Paul Pierce leads all scorers through three with 21 points. Wesley Matthews leads Portland with 18.
Oscar update: Harry Potter battles Twilight to give a product design award.
71-67 Blazers end of three
Nice block on Brandon Bass by Meyers Leonard. Blocking shots is something Meyers should be better at and hopefully will work on in the off-season.
Meyers gets to a loose ball on the offensive end. He has no idea what to do with it as EVERYBODY in the RG screams “GET IT TO A GUARD”
71-67 Blazers 8.1 remaining third quarter
Foul called on Meyers Leonard, but shockingly it’s only his second. Meyers as of this moment has more points (3) and rebounds (4) than fouls. Improvement happens in small steps.
A bad cross court pass by JET leads to a nice lay-up from Victor Claver.
69-65 Blazers 2:15 remaining third quarter
Good little stretch for Nicolas Batum. Shot goal tended at the rim, then a three pointer, then a charging call drawn on Jeff Green.
LaMarcus trying to get right by working on Chris Wilcox, which isn’t a terrible idea.
Doc Rivers calls a timeout to stop Portland’s momentum, game ops runs a nice little throw back trivia game. Highlights, the Sonics won the NBA Championship in 1979, the same year Lloyd Neal had his jersey number retired in Portland, the first jersey retirement in franchise history.
67-63 Blazers 3:04 remaining third quarter
The following through on Brandon Bass’s jumper is one in a million. Paul Pierce can throw anything at rim tonight and you can bet it’s going in. The same cannot be said for LaMarcus, in fact the opposite could be said for LaMarcus.
He’s gotten a couple of calls though, at least one of which was called a shooting foul.
Oscar update: J-LAW, ’nuff said.
62-61 Blazers 4:05 remaining third quarter
Nicolas misses a streaking dunk (Courtney Lee got a piece I think), but J.J. Hickson cleans up the mess.
LaMarcus has been struggling, his bench time not helping. Lots of dribbling on Portland’s end, and not a lot of good decision making.
58-57 Blazers 6:16 remaining third quarter
Catch and shoot for Damian from out of bounds goes down, a shot that comes in between long twos from Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett. Lillard is then stripped at half court by Avery Bradley, who gets an emphatic dunk that gives the lead back to Boston.
Defending Lillard is the name of the game for the Celtics. They’ve got the guy, in Avery Bradely, to do it. Time for Portland to adjust.
Terry Stotts calls a timeout so we can all enjoy some Bob Seger, a promo for an upcoming Bob Seger/Joe Walsh double bill that is happening in 2013.
55-54 Celtics 8:25 remaining third quarter
Good ball movement on both ends get good looks for Avery Bradley (first) and LaMarcus Aldridge (second) that don’t go.
Bradley gets a run out that Wesley Matthews answers with a three (he’s still feeling it). Paul Pierce answers because that’s what he does.
52-49 Blazers 9:50 remaining third quarter
Halftime Oscar update: Anne Hathaway walks away (see what I did there?) with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She’s winning it for Les Miserable, but we all know she’s actually winning it for Dark Knight Rises.
To be honest, though, she sang the hell out of “I Dreamed a Dream.” That song made Susan Boyle famous, that’s a much more difficult task than getting an Oscar for Anne Hathaway.
Nicolas Batum gets Portland’s final bucket of the quarter on a super fancy up and under lay-up. Kevin Garnett gets a heave off but doesn’t draw iron.
The story so far is that no Celtic other than Paul Pierce can score. The Truth is sitting at 14 points for the half, next best Celtic is KG with eight.
Wesley Matthews had a solid minute and a half to close out the second quarter. His 15 points lead Portland, and his two threes kept the momentum from swinging fully in Boston’s favor.
The Celtics are going to continue to hound Damian Lillard in the second half. There’s a possibility that Terry Stotts goes to a longer look at a Eric Maynor/Damian Lillard back court. That might free up Lillard for open jumpers.
LaMarcus Aldridge sat most of the second quarter. That’s good because he’ll be fresh. He’ll also still have three fouls. Aldridge’s foul trouble will be something to watch in the closing 24 minutes.
Oscar update: Ted just presented an award… Also, if the Celtics lose tonight, I’m sure some Boston fans will blame it on the fact that Marky Mark was too busy pretending to talk to an animated bear to watch the game.
49-42 Blazers Halftime
Strong defense on Damian Lillard outside the arc is causing Portland to take almost the whole shot clock to get a look at the rim.
In a mad scramble, Dame finds Wesley in the corner for a big three, but easy offense is not favoring the Blazers right now. On the other hand, Paul Pierce is getting a lot of easy runs at the rim that are turning into free throws. That could be important.
Wesley Matthews hits another three, though, so that’s good.
47-42 Blazers 10 seconds remaining second quarter
Lane violation on Meyers’ free throw attempt because Boston’s got no respect for the rook. He makes them pay by converting the free throw.
KG answers with a long jumper, which Courtney Lee follows up with a corner three.
Boston has come alive in the last minute or so, and so has the Celtic fans in the RG.
Oscar update: The cast of Les Miserable are all singing but I’ve got the TV mute so I don’t know what they’re singing. I like Master of the House, so I’m going to pretend that’s what it is.
41-39 Blazers 1:31 remaining second quarter
Paul Pierce has only missed one shot attempt, which is basically the opposite of what Joel Freeland has been doing all season. Joel misses a bunny at the rim to prove that point.
There is basically nobody scoring at all right now. Expect for Meyers Leonard who gets his first bucket on an and one at the rim.
Oscar update: I’m guessing Jennifer Hudson is just rubbing in the fact that she didn’t even win American Idol.
40-32 Blazers 2:35 remaining second quarter
Brandon Bass splits a pair from the line to cut the lead to 10. Joel Freeland is playing the Meyers Leonard game and trying to get as many fouls as minutes played.
Oscar update: Some kind of tribute to dance movies? I want to see a tribute to dancing Bond movies.
38-30 Blazers 4:35 remaining second quarter
Oscar update: John Travolta is a great dancer. That will always be true.
Second personal foul on Wesley Matthews comes off the. Joel Freeland checks in (he’s still on the team you guys) for Maynor. Not a bad first shift for the newest Blazer.
Damian Lillard gets an absolutely absurd and one. That’s going to get a “BIG SKY” from Neil Everett on SportsCenter. Dame converts the free throw and Portland’s up double digits.
38-27 Blazers 5:08 remaining second quarter
A nice turn around jumper from Paul Pierce breaks the Boston scoring drought.
Maynor is doing a great job distributing but shots just aren’t falling. Two to one odds Doc Rivers gets kicked out before this thing is over.
Lillard and Maynor on the floor at the same time, this is probably going to be something we see a lot of.
35-27 Blazers 6:05 remaining second quarter
That offensive foul was LA’s third, and he’s probably down for awhile.
Maynor with a very confident drive and floater that doesn’t go and then gets waved off for offensive basket interference by Claver. It’s not all Vic’s fault, that move is legal in Europe.
There’s a lid on it for Boston right now, and the away team fans are getting restless.
33-25 Blazers 7:30 remaining second quarter
It’s hard to tell if the second unit is running a lot better with Maynor. He turns it over with a bad pass, but then hustles to make up for it, getting a deflection in the process.
A nice Maynor/Aldridge pick and roll ends with an offensive foul called on LA.
Oscar update: All documentaries seem to be about war.
33-25 Blazers 8:54 remaining second quarter
Maynor gets his first bucket, a nice drive to hole against JET. On the other end, Victor Claver draws a charge and Blaze rings it up, something we all hope will go away next season.
31-25 Blazers 9:51 remaining second quarter
Maynor’s first stat as a Blazer is a shooting foul on Jason Terry on Boston’s first offensive possession of the second quarter. He also misses his first field goal attempt.
A bucket from J.J. Hickson pushes Portland’s lead to six.
29-23 Blazers 10:40 remaining second quarter
First quarter ends with a missed KG lay-up at the rim (is Meyers in his head? That’s up for you to decide) on one end and then a Will Barton iso that consists basically of Will dribbling out the shot clock without getting a clean look.
At the quarter break, the ever popular game “put on a blindfold and try to win an appliance” is under way as Liam Neeson holds court at the Oscars.
Maynor’s first stretch was unremarkable but only because it lasted less than a minute and he didn’t even get the ball.
Portland shoots 63% from the field, getting nine, eight, and seven points from LaMarcus, Nicolas, and Wesley (in that order).
Paul Pierce leads Boston with five points.
Jason Terry breaks a scoring drought for the Celtics following a nice drive and dish by Claver that didn’t end in a foul for Meyers Leonard.
Foul on Chris Wilcox on a Wesley three attempt. Wesley misses two of his three attempts.
Please Welcome To Portland ERIC MAYNOR!
27-21 Blazers 33.5 remaining first quarter
Wesley Mattews gets the better of Jason Terry. Portland’s staring to roll, taking advantage of Boston not having a creator and a scorer on the floor.
The Celtics are deeper than the Blazers, but they’ve got some second unit issues.
Will Barton checks in, so still no Eric Maynor, but it is the first quarter and Damian doesn’t come out in the first 12 minutes ever.
26-19 Blazers 1:30 remaining first quarter
Very late whistle on Meyers Leonard who came with a hard, if ill advised hedge on a high screen for Avery Bradley. May or may not have been a foul, but Leonard has about 100 pounds and almost a foot on Bradley. Any time a guard gets that flattened he’s getting the call.
Victor Claver checks in, meaning Eric Maynor will not be the first or second Blazer off the bench.
I predicted a big night tonight for Meyers since Boston has no real center. Ben Golliver makes the very good point that there is nobody better at the mental game than KG and Meyers might be a little soft upstairs. KG is on the bench currently, and Meyers has already picked up on foul. Let’s see if KG/Meyers gets to happen.
20-19 Blazers 3:16 remaining first quarter
Batum hits a big three in front of the home bench to give Portland their first lead of the evening.
Jeff Green answers with a two, and it seems like this crowd still favors Boston. Must be nice to not play any away games.
LA is hitting, and he hits again.
20-17 Blazers 3:55 remaining first quarter.
LA goes to work on Brandon Bass for his fourth straight point. Damian Lillard finds J.J. Hickson under the rim, who despite a crowd goes up strong and draws a foul.
“We know you’re good for at least one” a lady behind me shouts and she isn’t wrong. Hickson splits the pair.
Technical foul on Doc Rivers. Batum converts the free throw.
Oscar update: James Bond tribute looks pretty rad.
15-15 5:11 remaining first quarter
Nice round of applause for a couple former Blazers who are in the house for 70s night. One of them is Bobby Gross whose number 30 is hanging in the RG rafters.
Courtney Lee with a nice runner out of a well designed in bounds play, which is followed up by an uncontested lay up from Brandon Bass.
Time out worked.
15-9 Boston 6:25 remaining first quarter
J.J. Hickson with a nice baseline spin for a lay-up. Clearly this is a front running crowd since a couple of nice sequences from the Blazers has the RG into it.
Doc Rivers calls a timeout, but probably only to watch how long it takes Anniston and Chan to figure out they’re on live TV.
11-9 Boston 7:22 remaining first quarter
Nicolas Batum with a pretty and one. Added bonus that it’s the second foul on Paul Pierce. The Truth is replaced by Jeff Green, and is reluctant to leave the floor.
11-7 Boston 7:50 remaining first quarter.
Pierce bulldozes Nicolas Batum on his way to the hoop for a nice floater. This is a mixed crowd, heavily in favor of Boston though because they’re doing all the scoring.
Oscar update: Jennifer Anniston and Channing Tatum are doing something.
Batum gets Portland’s second bucket. But KG answers
11-4 Boston 8:00 remaining first quarter.
Pierce at the line for an and one. The crowd has Boston’s back at this point, but maybe because Portland has yet to score.
LaMarcus Aldridge makes up for that with a nice jumper of his own.
7-2 Boston 9:30 remaining first quarter
Kevin Garnett jab steps 1,000 times, settles for a fall away over J.J. Hickson that goes.
Portland can’t score.
Then Avery Bradley runs out for a lay-up
4-0 Boston 10:22 remaining first quarter
It’s 70s night in the RG so that means Portland is in the Rip City jerseys. It also means that Boston is wearing their regular jerseys since they haven’t changed since the 70s.
Boston wins the tip but Pierce is called for traveling.
0-0 11:23 remaining first quarter
Instead of the traditional Star Spangled Banner, Blazer vet and Mr. Rip City Bill Schonely sings America the Beautiful and then leads the RG in a rendition of God Bless America.
A mix of cheers and jeers for the Boston Celtics as they are introduced. This might be a hostile environment for Portland tonight should things get ugly.
Oscar update: a guy with long hair wins Best Cinematography for Life of Pi. He’s given the award by the cast of Marvel’s The Avengers 2 the search for more money.
Blazer lineup intros coming.
Oscar update: Brave wins best animated feature. the dude accepting the statue is wearing a kilt.
A minute and a half to game time.
Rumor has it that former Portland Timbers’ head coach John Spencer is in the Rose Garden this evening. That rumor can be confirmed by me since I nearly flattened the diminutive Scott in the media room.
Oscar update: Melissa Mcarthy and Paul Rudd are presenting the Oscar for something, and they look hilarious (I can’t hear what they are saying because the TV is muted on press row. Also, I saw Identity Thief so you don’t have to.
Five and half minutes to game time.