Down by seven going into the final frame, the "white unit," lead by Travis Outlaw and James Jones, rattled off a 16 straight points to take control of the game and give the Blazers their first lead since the first half. The Nuggets countered, knotting the score at 94-94 with a minute and a half to play, but Brandon Roy's block of Carmelo Anthony's close-in attempt gave the Blazers just enough momentum to escape with a 99-96 win. Easily one of the best games this season.
What the Blazers had to say ...
“Fortunately, though, we started playing aggressively in the second half, especially in that stretch in the fourth quarter. This time I thought our second unit once again bailed us out. We can’t continue to go into games even with this steak feeling so good about yourself that you think you just flip a switch and turn it on and off. This is a rhythm thing. You can lose it really easily. So you can’t let up and we don’t have the ability to just flip switches and expect wins.”
“The key plays down the stretch of course were game-changers. The block by Brandon on Anthony was spectacular. Not only was it clean but he also recovered the ball. Just before that we had Brandon on Iverson and Travis on Anthony then we switched it. We just wanted to be bigger than they were. Our crowd was the best crowd we’ve had since I’ve been here. It was the loudest. It helps makes the Rose Garden the special place we want it to be. If we keep winning like this the fans will keep coming and the players will feed off that.”
(About slow getting started in the game): “The coach looked at me and said, ‘you gotta play.’ The players said the same. I be trying to play in the first half but I don’t try to rush it. Its an unbelievable feeling. I’ve never been a part of something like this (the winning streak). We’re enjoying every minute of it.”
What the Nuggets had to say ...
(About the Trail Blazers) “They are very confident. They’ve grown together very quickly. They have very good composure for close games and close situations. They also have the ability to explode on you with the three ball. They are always dangerous and can hit three or four threes on you in any situation. They have a combination…there guards are heady guys like Blake and Jack. They have a lot of pieces. They have there cohesiveness faster than a young team usually does.”
“They are a tough team…they’ve won 10 in a row. It’s hard to say they are creeping up on teams. They are a hot team and they are playing well right now. Everything they throw up is going in and they are playing together right now. They are playing extremely well. Before the game George came up to me and AI and told us to get that third person involved, but it was kind of hard out there tonight. I tried and AI tried. We came out here and played hard. In the fourth quarter Outlaw got hot. He got it started and everybody started hitting shots. When you’ve got five guys on the court who are making shots it’s kind of hard to do anything. They are the hottest team in the NBA right now.”
So that's ten wins in a row. They'll got for number eleven on Christmas Day against the Sonics at the Rose Garden. Could there be a better way to celebrate than to watch a Blazer victory? I doubt it.