Portland, OR – In their third and most exciting game in four days to start the 2011-12 season, the Portland Trail Blazers beat division rival Denver 111-102 in a game revolving around new players playing their former team. Portland is off to its first 3-0 start since 1999.
The Trail Blazers led by 13 to start the second quarter, but a steady scoring effort by Denver and a plethora of Portland turnovers turned the game into a tie at the half. A back and forth third quarter ended with the Blazers up by four.
Click here to see Oregon’s brand new Nike uniforms for the Rose Bowl.
In the fourth quarter, though, former Denver Nuggets point guard and brand new Portland PG Raymond Felton did in his former team, scoring Portland’s final seven points in addition to drawing a charge in the final thirty seconds.
Click here to see Oregon running backs LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner scared to death on a ride at Disneyland.
Former Trail Blazers Rudy Fernandez and Andre Miller struggled in the shooting department at their former homecourt. Fernandez shot just 2-8 (1-3 from beyond the arc) and Miller was just 4-13, although he did provide the Nuggets with 8 assists off the bench.
Gerald Wallace continued his masterful performances to start the year, scoring 13 points on 5-7 shooting to go along with 6 rebounds and a block. LaMarcus Aldridge was kept at bay for most of the game (13 points) which opened up the opportunity for Wes Matthews and Felton to keep the starting five afloat.
After two rough games to begin the year, Matthews hit four consecutive three-pointers in the third quarter on his way to a 25-point performance.
Nate McMillan used just three players off the bench to take down the Nuggets, with Jamal Crawford cashing in his best game of his short tenure with Portland thus far, scoring 22 points.
Portland survived a furious 4th quarter comeback to beat the Philadelphia 76ers to start the season Monday night, and then followed it up with a dominating 101-79 win over the Sacramento Kings. The Trail Blazers will now hit the road for the first time of the season and will take on the Clippers Sunday night and the Thunder Tuesday night before returning home for another Thursday night matchup against Denver.
Player of the Game:
Raymond Felton: 23 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds.
Worst Performance of the Game:
Nicolas Batum: 6 points on 1-6 shooting (although he did block 4 shots).
Best Man off the Bench:
Jamal Crawford: 22 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal.
Portland @ L.A. Clippers, Sunday, 6:30 p.m. PT.
© 2011 Max Price – All Rights Reserved.
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