Game Three had all the looks of a blowout. All the signs were there, from the Trail Blazers' inability to score early to the crowd being fired up to the phantom technical on Joel Przybilla. Nothing went Portland's way. Nothing.
But unlike in Game One, the Blazers got their collective act together enough to make a ballgame out of Game Three. It wasn't flawless or pretty, but it worked, at least it almost did. And while there's no going back now, making a run late in the game gave the Blazers something to take moving forward.
"I think what you take from (Game One) is that we didn’t play well and we had a chance to win the game," said Nate McMillan. "What we showed on film today was the things that we didn’t do and things we did. We had some success against this team. So having a shot of winning that game and not feeling that you played well, yeah, you feel the next game you have a shot of winning it."
You could see what McMillan was talking about today on the faces of the players at today's practice. It was nothing like the day after Game One. Rather than being despondent over a missed opportunity, they were optimistic and in good spirits thanks to having made a run in the second half of Game Three.
"We’ve just got to play basketball," said McMillan. "All the things that I saw last night we didn’t do, we can do. If we can do them we’ll have a shot at winning the game. We didn’t play well as far as execution last night and had a chance to win that game."
Coaches often talk about not letting a loss beat you twice. If the way guys acted at practice today said anything it's that's they're not going to let that happen tomorrow in Game Four.