Week 24: Apr. 7 - Apr. 13, 2013Team Record: 44-35 (3-0) | 4th in division, 7th in conference, 8th in Power Rankings (^4)
The week was a tremendous success for the Blazers, who are riding a five game winning streak and got a huge boost in the Power Rankings. Fully healthy and peaking at the right time, the Blazers face a tough final week but could earn themselves a winnable first round match-up if they play their cards right. With all eyes on the playoffs, each of the Blazers' final three games will have playoff-type atmosphere. Exciting time to be a Blazers fan to say the least.Blazers Clinch Winning Record With Win Over Mavs
4/7/2013 - Mavericks 89 @ Blazers 94
The Dallas Mavericks will miss the playoffs for the first time in thirteen seasons, but Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs proved they hadn't lost their pride. Despite the Blazers leading most of the way, Dallas played a very good game, containing LaMarcus Aldridge and fighting to the end. Ultimately, Portland would come away with the win, thanks to a solid game from the roster down. They improve to 42-35, clinching a winning season and improving to 7th place.
DAL 31 18 16 24 | 89 [32-45] - Nowitzki: 28/5/1; Mayo: 18/4/2; D. Collison: 9/2/6
POR 30 24 15 25 | 94 [42-35] - Lillard: 20/5/5; Aldridge: 14/13/1; Terry: 13/2/2Blazers Open Fourth With 24-2 Run, Clinch Playoff Seed
4/10/2013 - Lakers 75 @ Blazers 100
The Lakers have always had a tough time winning in Portland, and with no Kobe Bryant, this time was no exception. The first quarter was very physical, with both teams going into the penalty and posting a 21-21 tie. The second saw Portland's defense pick up, and with no Kobe Bryant, the Lakers were forced to turn to Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison for scoring, with diminishing returns.
The Lakers fought their way back to a tie after trailing by double digits in the third, but a late run sparked by Jason Terry gave Portland a 7 point lead and momentum entering the fourth. In the fourth, the Laker offense went completely cold and the Blazers would go on an incredible run, scoring the first 18 points of the first quarter to rout the Lakers. Lillard and Aldridge were instrumental, while the Blazers' +27 advantage from beyond the arc was the difference.
The win is Portland's straight, improving them to 43-35 on the season. They currently sit in seventh place and were the playoffs to start today, would face the Lakers. Bryant is questionable for the first round. It is also a milestone as they officially clinch a spot in the playoffs, with their 43rd win. The Lakers meanwhile fall to 50-29, taking a hit in their campaign for the top seed.
LAL 21 21 21 12 | 75 [50-29] - P. Gasol: 9/11/2; D. Howard: 12/6/1; Nash: 10/2/4
POR 21 26 23 30 | 100 [43-35] - Aldridge: 22/3/1, 9-13 FG; Lillard: 16/3/12, 7-18 FG: Terry: 15/3/5, 6-8 FGAldridge Scores 37 As Blazers Beat Thunder
4/12/2013 - Thunder 81 @ Blazers 94
In the final meeting between rivals and potential first-round opponents Portland and OKC, the Blazers benefitted from a rare occurrence: Russell Westbrook fouling out. From the start, the streaking Blazers came out of the gates the more energetic team. With OKC fighting for the top seed and Portland for essentially the right not to play the Thunder, only the stars came to play. Fortunately for Portland, their stars played better.
The Blazers led throughout the entire game, going up by 13 at the half. The Thunder's defense kept them in the game throughout, but in the fourth quarter, it was all Aldridge. The big man played the entire and scored 14 of his game high 37 points in the fourth period, carrying Portland to their fifth straight victory. Russell Westbrook was limited to just 18 minutes with persistent foul trouble, and fouled out midway through the fourth.
After the game, the two locker rooms had very different moods. Scott Brooks and Russell Westbrook are expected to be fined for comments about the refs favoring the Blazers, Aldridge in particular. With three games remaining in the season, Portland will face Denver, the Clippers and Golden State. With all three teams relevant to the Blazers in the playoff picture, they control their own destiny in a sense. If Portland can win in Denver, there's a good chance they'll be facing them in the first round.
OKC 19 22 19 21 | 81 [51-29] - Durant: 25/7/3; K. Martin: 14/1/3; Westbrook: 8/2/3/6 fouls
POR 27 27 15 25 | 94 [44-35] - Aldridge: 37/11/2; Lillard: 25/6/8; R. Price: 7/2/5Playoff Picture:
y-1 LA Lakers 51-29
y-2 Oklahoma City 51-29
x-3 Denver 47-32
y-4 San Antonio 43-36
x-5 Minnesota 46-34
x-6 LA Clippers 45-35x-7 Portland 44-35
x-8 Golden State 43-37