Blazers Vs. Warriors: Portland Wins A Close One Without LaMarcus Aldridge

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Nate Robinson #2 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles down court in front of Raymond Felton #5 and Gerald Wallace #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers at Oracle Arena on February 15, 2012 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Portland Trail Blazers won a close game for the first time this season, beating the Golden State Warriors on Jamal Crawford's free throws.

The Portland Trail Blazers were without a win in six games decided by three points or fewer heading into Wednesday night. Their hosts, the Golden State Warriors, were 1-4 in close ones. Neither team led by more than five in the entire second half, so as the game headed down to the wire, the question was, which of these two teams that have had trouble closing would get the job done?

In the end it was the Blazers who came out on top, 93-91, with Jamal Crawford scoring his team's final five points, including the decisive free throws with 44 seconds left. It was an unlikely win for the Blazers on several levels. Not only was it their first close win of the season, it also came on the road, where Portland has fared poorly (4-10 coming in). Perhaps most surprising, it came without their leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, who remained in Portland to receive treatment on the ankle he sprained in Tuesday night's loss to Wizards.

The Warriors finished the game without their leading scorer as well. Monta Ellis started, but his effectiveness and minutes were limited by illness. Ellis is fifth in the NBA in minutes per game at almost 38, but played only 27 in this one, sitting out the entire fourth quarter. He scored just 10 points, 12 below his season average.

In the absence of Aldridge, several players stepped up for Portland. Chief among them was Gerald Wallace with 24 points and 6 rebounds. A 28 percent three-point shooter on the season, Wallace made all four of his three-point attempts, including two key ones in the fourth quarter. Nicolas Batum, inserted into the starting lineup just before Aldridge was injured, also had a strong game with 17 points, and Crawford finished with 14.

For Golden State, it was the David Lee show. Lee had 29 points and 11 rebounds, but for some reason the Warriors seemed to forget about him in the fourth quarter. After scoring 25 points on 18 shots through three quarters, Lee had just two field goal attempts and four points in the fourth quarter. With Ellis on the bench and Stephen Curry having a cold shooting night (3 for 10 for 8 points), it was up to super sub Nate Robinson to carry the load in the fourth quarter. Little Nate scored 10 of his 21 points in the final period, but was unable to convert on two possessions with his team down two in the final seconds.

The loss snaps a season best three-game winning streak for the Warriors, and drops them to 11-15 overall, 8-9 at home. Portland gets a rare road win and improves to 14-12 overall.

For more on the Warriors enter a Golden State of Mind. To read up on the Blzaers, move to the Blazer's Edge.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.