Game 31: Blazers 98, Spurs 94

Busta BucketCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2009

If I had told you the Blazers would go 3-1 on a 4-game road trip to Florida and Texas, including two back-to-backs and four games in five nights, you'd probably say no way.

I said no way last week.

At least the Blazers would be running on all cylinders to win these games, right?

Instead, the injury riddled Blazers let their young studs loose and allowed everyone to get back to basics.

The road trip was great, but last night's win had to be the most impressive considering the situation.

Despite not having Brandon Roy, the Trail Blazers went to San Antonio and put on quite a show.

I haven't had that much fun watching a game in awhile; effort and hustle was the name of the game.

From Juwan Howard being everywhere and doing everything, to LaMarcus' clutch shooting, to Jerryd Bayless who ran the offense like a cloned Brandon Roy.

It was a total team effort.

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This was a fantastic win worthy of my nearly destroyed TV from an excited karate kick.

The Good

There is no doubt that Bayless once again took his game to another level.

This time, being the No. 1 option on offense, Bayless was incredible. He had 31 points, 7 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and 0 turnovers.

But there was much more to it than that impressive stat line.

He had zero turnovers while running the offense for most of the night.

He read his defender so well, picking and choosing when to shoot the jumper or take it to the hoop.

He also played great defense, helping out and basically fitting in well with this Blazer squad. Despite the logical conclusion that San Antonio didn't game-plan for Bayless, he'll still be able to use his dynamic athleticism to carve up any defense.

What can I say about Juwan Howard.

He stepped in for Joel Przybilla and put up 12 points and 12 rebounds.

He shot the ball efficiently (6 for 9), played excellent defense on Tim Duncan, and his +22 in this game was no joke, he helped out in every aspect.

It was like he took a page from Joel Przybilla book of being a stud.

The rest of the guys had their moments.

Martell hit big back to back threes, Blake was solid for 3 quarters, Pendergraph filled in nicely, and really it was just a gritty performance in a game that Portland had no business winning.

Tremendous.

The Bad

Andre Miller had another poor shooting night. I believe he started off 0 for 6, and also had trouble staying in front of Tony Parker. Overall it wasn't a major concern, because Tony Parker was held in check and everyone else shot the ball well.

The Ugly

Well, I could just go with Greg Popovich, but how about the complaining by the Spurs.

Every single player and their coach just complained the whole game.

Richard Jefferson began the whining early with an air fist swipe at the ref.

He was T'd up and that got the ball rolling.

It's just embarrassing at a certain point when guys are more concerned about getting calls then actually finishing and playing basketball.

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