The game was a meeting of announcer and Houston Rockets’ legend Clyde Drexler’s favorite two teams, the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers in a game that can decide the makeup of the 2012-3 NBA Playoffs.
Player of the Game:
Feb 8, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) prepares for a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
They did not play d on him and it really hurt the game for them. Post ups: in. 3s: in.
He shot 13 of 16 field goals, 4 of 5 3 pointers, 5 of 6 free throws and still shared the ball with 11 assists! He totaled 35 points and had 7 rebounds in addition to that. It was a nearly perfect display by James Harden and should be numbers every player should shoot and pass for. There was no reason for Portland to feel that comfortable with Harden behind the ball, other than that he might’ve been more selective with his shots.
Also, to note is the underrated Patrick Patterson, taking advantages of his mismatches and either penetrating to the hoop with a few quick steps or shooting his signature corner shots to cut open opposing teams’s wounds a bit more. He had 16 points and 6 rebounds. Chandler Parsons also contributed a significant 20 points.
However, the Portland Trail Blazers had a bit of a James Harden of their own.
Portland Trail Blazers Player of the Game
He had 31 points and 11 rebounds. He shot 14 of 23 field goals
The game was very different from my expectations. I thought Damian Lillard would have played more of a role in the game.
Did Not Factor:
Wesley Matthews and more importantly, Damien Lillard.
Jan. 07, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) and Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews (2) celebrate during overtime of the game against the Orlando Magic at the Rose Garden. Matthews scored 24 points and Lillard scored 18 points as the Blazers won the game in overtime 125-119. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Starting 0 of 6 from 3 is his role, Matthews really let down his fans and his team. He just did not factor and it really cost the Trail Blazers in a game that could decide the NBA Playoffs spot.
Also, last two times Jeremy Lin faced off against him, Damien Lillard forced the Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale to bench Lin, because he was unable to guard his awesome offensive displays.
This time, he was lackluster. His score did not reach the 20s, not to mention 30s. He only had 6 assists. The two cancelled each other out when Lillard easily could have been the factor to defeat Lin and the Rockets’ this game.
However, the Portland Trail Blazers only have to win one game to break a tie breaker. Will the next game be that one?