Patrick Beverley, Wesley Maatthews (Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports)
Perhaps it’s poetic justice that it happened to Patrick Beverley. The Rockets point guard has been a thorn in the side of any opposing point guard, especially his first round opponent Damian Lillard. But with under 10 seconds remaining in Sunday’s overtime between the Blazers and Rockets, Wesley Matthews turned the tables on the pesky point for Houston.
The Blazers led 123-120 in overtime early Monday morning, the third OT game in the first four games of the series. Patrick Beverley was bringing the ball across half-court with Damian Lillard guarding him and James Harden floating nearby. Harden’s man, Wesley Matthews, lunged from behind Damian Lillard to knock the ball away from Beverley before reaching after it and finally grabbing it off the court before quickly passing to LaMarcus Aldridge as the clock expired.
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The swipe ended another crazy game that had a ton of NBA fans wide awake late Sunday night.
Regulation had concluded with a chaotic sequence where the Blazers just wouldn’t die. Down two, Nicolas Batum missed a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left. Jeremy Lin secured the rebound and took off up the court, but Mo Williams was sneaking behind him and knocked the ball away before saving it from going out-of-bounds. The ball landed with Matthews who missed a gimme near the basket with a clamber for the ball once it rimmed out. Dame ended up with the ball, and it got passed around to Mo, who pump faked a rushing Lin past him before draining a 3-pointer to give the Blazers the one-point lead.
On other end, LaMarcus Aldridge blocked a James Harden layup attempt and Dorrell Wright knocked down one-of-two free throws for a two-point lead. But Harden learned from his previous dash to the rim and on the ensuing possession, down two, he drove to the rim and scooped it to Dwight Howard for the dunk when Aldridge rotated to stop him. They headed to OT where Matthews clinched it.
Nicolas Batum (25 points) and Matthews (21 points) and Mo Williams were all excellent for Portland, who also got 29 points and 10 rebounds from Aldridge and 23 points and eight assists from Lillard. The Rockets got 26 from Chandler Parsons, but he didn’t score at all in the fourth period. Dwight had 25 and 14, Harden had 28 and six, even with the physical defense of Matthews. All that production wasn’t enough for Houston to grind out the win.
These 2014 NBA Playoffs have been incredible and we’re not even in the second round — nor do we really know what it’s going to look like.
What do you think?
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