Now it's time for round two of this playoff-feel matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers. This time, these two teams will lock horns tonight inside the Staples Center.
“It's going to be another battle,” Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe said. “Now we have to take care of home just like they did.”
Last night the Trail Blazers (22-21) evened the season-series 1-1 with a comeback 101-100 win over the Clippers at the Rose Garden.
The Clippers (32-13) were down one with 12 seconds left in the game and Jamal Crawford, one of the deadliest shooters we have in this game, was working one-on-one against Batum.
Crawford dribbled the clock down and stepped into his shot with Batum drenched all over him and the shot clanked off the rim as the game ended. Batum was able to chase down the loose ball down to collect his 10th rebound, securing his second triple-double of his career. His first one came five days earlier.
He finished the game with 20 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists.
“It's big to win this one, especially in a back-to-back with the same team twice in two nights,” Batum said. “This one was huge for us.”
Damian Lillard provided 20 points and two assists. Wesley Matthews chipped in 18 points. JJ Hickson put in 15 points and seven rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge added 12 points and six rebounds.
That loss gave the Clippers a four-game losing streak, tying their longest losing skid of the season. Following the game, Crawford said there's no panic with this group of guys.
“We're all very much into what is going on,” he said. “We're not panicking at all. We've been here before. As far as that shot, I'll take that again. That's the shot I wanted.”
The Clippers held a commanding nine-point lead with 2:38 remaining in the game before the Trail Blazers rallied off 10 straight points, holding the Clippers scoreless for the rest of the game.
“We made the stops down the stretch to give us a chance,” Batum said. “Hopefully we don't keep putting ourselves in holes like that. But I'm glad we got the win.”
Blake Griffin had a game-high 24 points to go along with eight rebounds and 10 assists while his teammate Crawford scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half.
Chris Paul (knee) is not expected to play tonight.
Tonight's game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet at 6:30 p.m. and on 1190 AM/102.3 FM KEX.