The Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Orlando Magic tonight, 107-104. The Trail Blazers played a decent game, but they just could not overcome the hot outside shooting of Orlando (16-27 3PT). It took almost three quarters for the game to get exciting, but it eventually did—in a big way.
Portland came into the fourth quarter down 17 points, and Orlando quickly raised their lead to 20 on a three by J.J. Redick. It took a few more minutes to get going, but soon Portland began to hit shots and play good defense.
With two-and-a-half minutes to go, Portland had finally narrowed the lead to just three. However, Turkoglu took his team on a 5-0 run and neutralized the Blazers' momentum.
Portland continued to fight and narrowed the lead back down to three with 31 seconds left, but the clock was running out. They played the foul game with Orlando and had a few chances, but unfortunately, they couldn't take advantage of them, and time expired.
It's a tough loss for the Trail Blazers and Portland fans, as it is the first home loss of the young season. It is also the second straight loss they have suffered in the latter of a back-to-back. They get another try to improve upon this stat on Saturday when they face a struggling Rockets team after playing the Spurs on Friday.
The Blazers get a day off tomorrow and then head out to start a six-game road trip on Friday. This is likely to be their first true test of the season. Portland needs to prove they can win consistently on the road, and most of all, they need to prove they can win back-to-backs.
With the season shortened because of the lockout, back-to-backs are more crucial this year, and Portland needs to capitalize.