A Daily Babble Production
Or the Clippers don't really guard anybody. But that's really besides the point here.
It was actually the Portland Trail Blazers' bench that broke their visit to Staples Center open in the fourth quarter last night. Thanks largely in part to Travis Outlaw's 8-for-9 shooting performance and some timely shooting from Rudy Fernandez, the reserves extended a two-point lead to 12 with Brandon Roy watching for nearly seven minutes of basketball time between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter. The red-shirted gentlemen cruised from there to a 25-point victory.
But once again, it was the Blazers' young captain who stole the show for the night on the whole.
As we've seen on a few occasions previously this season, the Portland off-guard simply couldn't be stopped. He did a bit of everything, starting in the middle. Roy banged a jumper right out of the gate and then proceeded to hit a couple of off-balance, contested turn-arounds from 15 to 19 feet. After four jumpers of perfect smoothness, he went to the rim for an easy lay-in. By the end of the quarter, he had 10 points without a miss.
He finally had a shot blocked in the second quarter, but he didn't do much else wrong. The party moved outside this time, with the captain pulling the trigger successfully on two treys, the second of which came from a few steps beyond the line. He cruised into the half at 8-for-9 shooting, though the Blazers only led by one.
And then came the play that destroyed any atmosphere the Clippers' fans had managed to put together for the home team last night. Two possessions earlier, Eric Gordon had brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk over LaMarcus Aldridge in traffic. Fred Jones followed with a fast break lay-up to put the Clips up two.
No timeout for Nate McMillan. Just Brandon Roy. Doing this. To Cheikh Samb. Feel free to pick your silly hip term for it - dunkage, posterization, and my personal favorite, facial, are a few suggestions. But any way you slice it, Roy put one down in Samb's mug, the air left the building, and the Clips never recovered. Roy's dunk ended an 8-1 Clips run and touched off a 48-21 stretch for the Blazers to finish the game.
He didn't hit a field goal in the fourth quarter, but it didn't matter. The rest of the crew took it from there. Roy had already put in a full night's work, going 11-for-15 from the field and finishing 9-of-10 from the line en route to 33 points and just one turnover. It was another day at the office for Brandon Roy and another pleasure for this outsider to observe. Thanks for giving me plenty to enjoy on a Celts off day, Brandon.