The three most electrifying moments of the Blazers’ 2012-2013 season came from their three biggest players; Lillard, Aldridge, and Batum. Nothing can get a crowd on their feet like a game winning shot, and each had a memorable one for us to recount today. We’ll start this list with Batum’s contribution.
On their fifth game of a seven game road trip that spanned November and December, the Trail Blazers had dropped all four previous games, losing to the Nets 85-98, the Pistons 101-108, the Wizards 82-84, and the Celtics 78-96. In classic Batum fashion, our favorite Frenchman’s performance was filled with peaks and valleys that series. He shot 2/11 against the Celtics for an abysmal 18.2% the night before. Time to peak.
Portland needed him to be on his game in order to salvage the road trip and he didn’t disappoint. Nicolas Batum stuffed the stat sheet with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. Granted, it took him two overtime periods to get there…—Wait, what? This game was so tight that Portland had to fight every second, tooth and nail to stay in it. There was no silly notion about wanting it more; it was a war of attrition.
Down 115-117 with 2.5 seconds remaining in double overtime, Lillard inbounded the ball (not yet proven as the go-to guy just 17 games into the season) to Batum in the corner. Batum didn’t even take the time to square up. He caught the ball and shot an off-balance three in the face of Alonzo Gee that didn’t even kiss the rim on the way through. The Blazers snapped their losing streak with a 118-117 2OT victory.