Game 80: Blazers 91, Lakers 88

Box Score

Sometimes the phrase "A win's a win," can't be used to describe a game.

With so much of the Western Conference playoff seeding up in the air, a victory against the Lakers would mean so much on so many levels. But how realistic was it? Having not won in LA since Feb. 22nd, 2007 , this would be a daunting task to say the least.

The day began with the news that Kobe would in fact play in this game after sitting the last couple for no apparent reason other than resting for the playoffs. That means Kobe wants to win, especially considering his Lakers teammates won in Portland earlier this year without him. With Portland as a possible first round opponent, I'm sure Kobe was thinking let's beat them today, and then beat them in the first round.

The first half of this game was similar to what we've seen before from Portland against the upper eschelon of the West. Allow the opponent to lead, stay on their heals, but never quite gain control or a lead. This game felt to me like it would be a disappointing ending during half-time.

Then of course we find out at half-time that Brandon Roy is out for the rest of the game. Now how is Portland supposed to win? The Blazers continued to battle in the 3rd quarter, ramping up the intensity and playing abnormally good defense. Martell and Nicolas were shutting down Kobe and the team was inspired to win after losing their All-Star.

The Blazers completely came alive in the 4th quarter, swarming on defense and creating easy shots on offense. For awhile it was looking like Portland had control, especially when they had a five point lead with about a minute left. But that's when things got a little crazy, just like the kids in that LaMarcus Ford truck commercial. The Lakers have the ball at the top of the key with under a minute remaining. Kobe settles in about 5 feet behind the 3-point line while Derek Fisher goes stumbling in (on purpose) and trucks Martell W...

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