Blazers Clinch Home Court Advantage In First Round
Portland, Oregon – The Blazers have locked up home court in the first round of the NBA playoffs, which means they’ll have a better chance of making to round two with the power of Rip City behind them as they play games in Portland. The Blazers in their last road game of the regular season win a close one at Staples Center last night. Mo Harkless nailed a three point basket at the buzzer lifting Portland to 104-to-101 win over the LA Lakers. Harkless scored a team-high 26-points. They’ll play Sacramento in the regular season finale tonight at Moda Center.
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The Moe Harkless experience in Portland has not always been good for the player or the fans. In Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 9? Moe Harkless was everything the Blazers needed against the Lakers.
As fans have seen, the Blazers played down to their competition. The LA Lakers, without LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma or Rajon Rondo, held close to Portland the entire game. Late in the fourth, Alex Caruso hit a pull-up to put the Lakers up 101-99.
Let’s rewind for a second. Under three minutes to go, the Blazers trailed 93-92. Then, Moe Harkless took over. The Blazers’ oft-scrutinized forward scored the Blazers next 12 points.
Harkless started that streak with two free throws. Then, a three-point play, he hit the and-one, that’s five. Two more free throws, that’s seven. A beautiful finger-roll, that’s nine. Finally, the game-winner. That’s 12.
HOW COULD HE BE MOE HARKLESS?!?! pic.twitter.com/Oax371GmOW
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) April 10, 2019
A season where Harkless has been inconsistent was the perfect backdrop for a game like tonight. Every time the Lakers’ reserves miraculously hit a basket, Harkless was there.
Harkless led the team with season-high 26 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots.
For the rest of the Blazers, Enes Kanter chipped in 22 points, while Damian Lillard gave Portland 20 points. Off the bench, Seth Curry scored 19 and CJ McCollum also contributed 11 points. Evan Turner also scored six.
Four Blazers, who actually played, didn’t score a point: Al-Farouq Aminu, Jake Layman, Rodney Hood and Zach Collins.
Playoff Scenarios for Portland:
If Portland and Denver win on Wednesday:
2. Denver, 3. Portland, 4. Houston
If Denver wins, Portland loses:
2. Denver, 3. Houston, 4. Portland
If Denver loses, (no matter what Portland does):
2. Houston, 3. Denver, 4. Portland
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