If the Portland Trail Blazers and the Indiana Pacers meet for the NBA it’ll be one of the more enjoyable matchups we can think of happening, with George Hill coming up with the big game and the huge play to send the game into overtime and eventually help his team come away with the 118-113 win.
Hill scored 37 points and scored the biggest shot of the game, sending it to overtime. He missed a three pointer with 15 seconds left in the game, but David West and Roy Hibbert did a great job on the offensive glass, giving him another shot at it, which he made. Nicolas Batum had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but his shot hit the rim, giving us another five minutes of fun.
The first two minutes of overtime were about trading baskets, but with the game tied the Blazers couldn’t make a switch and George Hill had no problem taking LaMarcus Aldridge to the basket, and giving the Pacers a lead they wouldn’t let go. With the Pacers leading by 3 points, Paul George was the next player to take advantage of Aldridge not being able to guard smaller players, hitting a jumper that put his team up by 5 points with 21 seconds left in overtime, pretty much coming away with the win.
Hill scored a career-high 37 points in the win falling one rebound and two assists short of a triple double, aided by David West with 30 points and 10 rebounds. The Pacers were able to regroup after scoring only 16 points in the first quarter and struggling through the first half with offensive rebounding, something that usually gives them a very big edge. In the second half things felt a bit more normal, having 40.7% offensive rebounding percentage after halftime compared with 23.1% for the Blazers.
The Blazers once again had to suffer for not having a bench. It was a huge performance from Damian Lillard with 38 points and 11 assists, making him the first Blazer since Rod Stickland in 1995 with two 30-10 games in one season, but the shooting aside from him was bad, with Batum, Aldridge and Wesley Matthews combining to shoot only 31.4% from the field. When you add the bad bench (Mo Williams didn’t even play) and their problems on defense (couldn’t stop the Pick & Roll), hanging on with the Pacers, who have lost only twice at home this season, suddenly seems like too much to ask.
Against the top teams, you have to get wins throughout the year, and this is a good win for us and we talk about finishing strong before the All-Star break. I thought we prepared well for this and came in and had a good game.
The Pacers now improve to 24-2 at home, hoping to have Lance Stephenson soon. Danny Granger scored 7 points in 40 minutes, but his presence hurts the Pacers when it comes to defense, rebounding and the ability to be a bit more aggressive on offense, and it was actually Rasual Butler coming off the bench to score 10 points that seemed to do a better job of filling in for the injured shooting guard.
For the Blazers, their slide heading into the All-Star game continues, finding it difficult to be consistent from beyond the arc, and without the possibility of resting starters during games, the break we’re headed to can’t come any sooner.