Minnesota 98, Portland 109

This is the game Portland needed to play. They came out early, building a 6 point first quarter lead...then winning the second quarter as well. The third quarter, such a trouble spot for so long, again was kind, giving them a tie and then Portland won the 4th quarter.

This is a big step. So often this season Portland has played down to the level of their competition or they have built a lead and then relaxed. That led, earlier in the season, to disaster. No longer.

Aldridge rebounded nicely, shooting 9-17, snagging 8 boards, blocking a couple of shots...he did not come out pressing, in fact, after making the first shot of the game he went 5 minutes before taking another, picking up an assist off an offensive rebound, pass to Przybilla for a dunk and turning the ball over. In other words, he played a team game.

The entire Portland team played a team game. They ended up with 6 players in double figures led by the 22 of Roy and 21 of Aldridge. They shot 49%, out rebounded Minnesota 47-32, blocked 6 shots and only had 12 turnovers. That is the solid type of performance they should lay on a bad team like Minnesota.

McCants and Jefferson got their points, Gomes provided some help but everyone else Portland held in check.

On a side note, Webster had another off game offensively, going just 2-8 from the field. He did help in other areas, though, bringing down 4 boards and adding 3 assists. I am hoping he gets his game going a bit more consistently soon. On the bright side, on a night they really did not have to have his shooting and scoring he was not pressing but for the season to deliver on its promise they are going to need him to develop some consistency.

Meanwhile, the roll keeps going.