Top 5 Games of Last Week (3/3/14 – 3/9/14)
Well, after flying under the radar for most of the NBA season, the now 42-21 Trail Blazers make this list… twice. The bad news? They lost both contests. Sorry about that, Portland fans.
#5. Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks
For the Trail Blazers, the fairy tale script fell just short of expectations. Put another way, they did everything right but win. Trailing 44-14 in the second quarter (no, that’s not a misprint), Portland stormed back, finally taking the lead at one point, 69-67. But the comeback was not to be – facing impossible odds, down 30 points, David did everything he could to fell Goliath, until Goliath came back with the knockout punch. Tied 98-all with seconds left, Dallas came back to life, scoring the final five points of the game to shut the door on Portland.
#4. Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets
Sometimes – and not too often, mind you – calling a game the bang-for-your-buck pick of the week is an understatement. This game, for instance, which cost fans an average of just $83.86, is a game I happily would’ve paid twice as much to see. Why? Well, first there’s the matchup on paper. Both teams had over 40 wins coming in, and both feature superstar talent. Then there’s what actually transpired: an all-out brawl during regulation, with 17 of James Harden’s 41 points coming in the fourth quarter, and Jeremy Lin providing a much needed spark off the bench, and Portland star LaMarcus Aldridge adding 28 points and 12 rebounds of his own. And that was just regulation. In OT, leading by three points, the Trail Blazers fell apart for the second game in a row, letting Houston take back the lead with an 8-2 run, and, eventually, the game, 118-113. Ouch.
#3. Golden State Warriors at Indiana Pacers
To become the best, you have to be able to beat the best. And that’s what the Warriors did Tuesday night, scoring big buckets in big moments against the team with the best record in the NBA, normally unbeatable on their home court. What’s more, it wasn’t Pacers star Stephen Curry that led the charge – the less celebrated, but maybe equally talented Klay Thompson proved to be the difference maker, scoring to take back the lead in the third quarter, and again with 0.6 seconds left to give the Warriors the W in Indianapolis, 98-96.
#2. Duke Blue Devils at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
I won’t do it. I’ll resist. OK, I have to: Wake Forest sent Duke packing Wednesday night, a dizzying loss for the entire fourth ranked Blue Devils‘ team, not just its Head Coach. Zzzing! Get it? Because Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski felt dizzy and had to take a knee late in the game? Yeah, you get it. Anyways, this was a big win for the Demon Deacons, who hadn’t beaten rival Duke since 2009. Duke played with grit, to be sure, taking a 66-59 lead with six minutes to play, but Wake Forest played with too much heart, storming back to win by double digits, 82-72.
#1. Virginia Cavaliers at Maryland Terrapins
The Cavaliers may have had the storybook season, but they left Maryland with a sour taste in their mouths after the Terrapins won their final meeting as two ACC teams, 75-69. It’s the all-time greats that fail to play their best, and yet still find a way to win, and the Cavaliers almost did just that. Almost. But instead of pulling away after coming back and forcing OT, the fifth ranked Cavaliers fell flat, letting the unranked Terrapins walk all over them. In their 61st and final season in the ACC, the Terrapins walked away winners, fans paying just $98.00 to see their team close out the regular season in the best way possible.