What a game! No Roy? No problem! Sure proud of this Blazers team considering all the injuries they've had to go through yet still playing team ball and no die spirit! They had plenty of excuses this year to just lay down, but they haven't done it.
LinkOnly one home playoff team sent its fans home unhappy this weekend. The Phoenix Suns.
The Suns were the NBA regular season's fifth winningest team, setting them up to start the playoffs in a building they had not lost since March 12.
The Portland Trail Blazers went 8-9 this season without Brandon Roy
, their star player who is out for the series.
It didn't sound like much of a series, other the intrigue of Phoenix as a hare facing the tortoise in Portland. But it sure looks like it can be one after Portland swiped Game 1 of the first-round series 105-100 at US Airways Center.
The Suns gave up their season's work to earn that home-court advantage in one night by losing the battle of wills for tempo.
"They really controlled tempo and did a really good job on defense," Suns forward Louis Amundson
said. "They were able to pack a lot of guys in the paint so it wasn't easy for Amar'e or anybody driving in there. When you do get in there, they've got two long guys there.
Portland center Marcus Camby (17 rebounds) and point guard Andre Miller (career playoff high-tying 31 points, eight assists) gave the best performances on the floor, and the Blazers got the supporting offensive performances they needed from Nicolas Batum and reserve guard Jerryd Bayless
, who each scored 18 points with Bayless getting 14 in the second half in his hometown.
"We feel like we can play better," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "We got the first one, but we didn't come here to get just one."
The Suns' stars were muted by the switching, long-armed scheme of the Blazers. Stoudemire made 8 of 19 shots from the field, pulled down two defensive rebounds and fouled out after only having two disqualifications all season. Camby thwarted his game and only let him get to the line for three free throws. Steve Nash (25 points, nine assists) had to score too much for the Suns' good, especially when the next best perimeter scoring effort came unexpectedly from Leandro Barbosa.