The Portland Trail Blazers have undoubtedly been the surprise team of the 2013-14 NBA season. While many people picked them to be a playoff team in the Western Conference, there was no one out there thinking that, almost halfway through the season, this team would be competing for the top spot in the conference.
However, the Blazers’ matchup with the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night was huge in the race for the best in the West. Portland entered the game with a 29-9 record, trailing the Spurs, who had a 31-8 record before tonight, by just 1.5 games.
The Blazers had won the only other meeting between the two teams this season and they kept their record against San Antonio perfect on Friday night. Thanks to some solid rebounding and their ever-impressive offense, the Blazers notched a 109-100 victory over the Spurs to give them their 30th win of the year and pull them within a half-game of the Spurs in the standings.
Arguably the most impressive part about Portland pulling off the victory is the fact that they were able to do so with Damian Lillard not shooting particularly well, with the bench not looking great, and with Robin Lopez and Nicolas Batum not providing much offense. A big part of why they were able to succeed, though, was the success of both LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews.
Aldridge was big on the evening as he added 26 points, 13 rebounds and one block in 38 minutes while hitting 11 of his 22 shot attempts. Much more offensively potent on Friday, Matthews contributed 24 points and six boards in 34 minutes on 9-14 shooting and blazing 6-7 shooting from long-range.
One of the things that makes this Trail Blazers team so exciting and special this season is that their offense allows for multiple guys on their roster to have a chance to beat opponents. Matthews was big on Friday, but it could be Batum or Lillard going lights-out in their next game. It’s the beauty of what they’ve done this season. I’m not sure they’ll be able to come out with the top seed in the West, but it’s clear that this team has a chance to make some serious noise if they can sustain this level of play.
Don’t miss any of the action when Portland plays this season as they try to become one of the top seeds in the West! Get your Blazers tickets here.