Aldridge says skirmish brought team closer, happiest he's been in a while

Aldridge says skirmish brought team closer, happiest he's been in a while
November 23, 2013, 11:30 pm

WATCH: Brawl between Blazers and Warriors

LaMarcus Aldridge

OAKLAND – After that third-quarter skirmish between the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, Portland proceeded to go on a 41-18 run that helped them get a 113-101 win, earning their 10th victory in a row.

It didn’t have to go down that way. In fact, Andrew Bogut is the reason why Golden State loss this one. No, it wasn’t because he only had four points. It was because he initiated the skirmish.

With 3:42 left in the third, Bogut and Joel Freeland got tangled up resulting in Bogut throwing a forearm to Freeland’s chest. LaMarcus Aldridge then rushed in and shoved Bogut in the chin with his right hand.

Mo Williams and Bogut then somehow got tangled up and that’s when everybody got into the raucous, whether it was players trying to break it up or players looking to get a piece of the opposition.

Williams was ejected. Wesley Matthews, who had 23 points, received a technical (his second of the game) and was ejected. Aldridge would receive a technical and so did Freeland. Draymond Green was ejected for his role and Bogut only got a technical.

The one who started the episode only received a technical? No rejection? It was all good because he had to watch first-hand the thrashing the Trail Blazers would put on them from there on out.

Bogut’s cheap shot made the Trail Blazers closer.

“I was hyped,” Aldridge said of that run after the incident. “I was hyped because I saw my teammates had my back. I saw Wes go to war for me. I’m a very loyal guy. So when I see loyalty, it excites me. And in that moment, I saw every player on my team have my back.

[Chris Haynes Rapid Reaction: Blazers get 10th straight win]

“That made me go like, ‘These guys believe in me. These guys got my back. Let’s do this.’ It made me take my energy to another level. Even Earl [Watson] coming in, he didn’t play in I don’t know when. He told me we’re going to you every time. No pick-and-roll. On the block. And then he came to me. That confidence and that belief in your teammates is just contagious. It made me give more energy.”

When CSNNW.com asked Bogut about his part in the altercation, he said he wouldn’t comment on the matter. He was wearing a wrap around his right elbow, the same elbow he used to push Freeland away. When asked why he is wearing the wrap, he refused to comment again.

The NBA will likely suspend Bogut for his part. He’s smart not to say anything.

Freeland says he wasn’t going to react at all when Bogut shoved him. He says he was surprised that it escalated to what it did.

“We showed who was the smart team,” Freeland said. “We kept out composure down the stretch and they didn’t. That says a lot about who we are and who they are.”

[WATCH GAME HIGHLIGHT: Blazers get 10th straight win]

Aldridge, after having a tumultuous summer, says he's in a happy place.

“This is fun,” Aldridge said. “Basketball has actually been fun this year. I haven’t felt this way in a while. This one feels a little bit better because we haven’t had much success down here. It’s the second game of a back-to-back. We could have had every excuse: tired, scuffle, lost two of our guys. But guys stuck with it and we showed character.”

How was the locker room after the game?

“Guys were ecstatic,” he said. “That game was about energy, about being together. So when we came in we were all hyped. We’re a team.”