A Recap of Blazers vs Raptors

Image via ESPN

Image via ESPN

Sofiah Gravley, Writer

November 15, 2021 

After a week-long road trip, the Portland Trail Blazers are back at their home court, the Moda Center. Fans gathered to welcome home Gary Trent Jr, now a Toronto Raptor. In this last season, Portland traded Gary Trent Jr for Norman Powell, who just signed a 5-year contract with the Blazers. 

Earlier on the Monday morning before the Blazers game, it was reported that Damien Lillard, Portland’s starting point guard, would not be playing due to a lower abdominal injury. Lillard did not play in the previous night’s game in Denver due to this injury. Yet about an hour prior to game time, sources cleared that Lillard would be available for Monday’s game. With Lillard injured for Denver’s game, that put Anfernee Simons in the starting lineup. Predicting that Lillard would still be injured, we would see the same lineup. However, as the starting lineups were announced, Toronto first then Portland, Lillard was available for that night. 

Letting the game begin, Portland was behind within the first quarter. Off to a rough start with their defense, leaving at least one Toronto player open for a shot. The Raptors had around a ten-point lead starting off the first quarter. In previous nights, you could see Lillard clearly in pain when shooting and watching the game you may have seen him wince in pain after going for a shot. In the second quarter, all players played hard and showed their life devotion to this sport. These men have spent years working this hard to be in the NBA. Around the half, Toronto and Portland were tied up back and forth. With fans on the edge of their seats wondering what would happen in the next play and the play after that. At the end of the half with the score being 61-60 Blazers, fans were locked into the game from then on.  Lillard seemed to warm up after the half. As Portland upped their defense and made their shots, the Moda Center blared. You could barely hear the announcer after each shot was made. 

From the fans’ perspective, some calls were definitely wrong, and some weren’t even called. The officials were not putting up with anything. Around 2-3 technical fouls were called. Lillard picked up a technical when he argued a call. The others on the Raptors. With foul after foul, Norman Powell took the most free throws of the night. 

In the 4th quarter, everyone was on the edge of their seats. Awaiting the 100 point McDonald’s shot, fans chant “we want nuggets.” Anytime the Blazers hit 100 points, the next day McDonald’s offers free six-piece nuggets for those who have the mobile app. CJ Mccollum makes the shot that everyone was waiting for. Clearing his pathway and making his shots. An assist to center/power forward Larry Nance Jr from Mccollum tossing up the ball for Nance to dunk. Folks call it the “Ohio Connection” since they both grew up in Ohio. At the last minute, fans in the Moda Center stand up. Some raced to leave so they could get out before traffic, others still watching to see the end score. With the Blazers up 5 with 14 seconds left they dribbled it out. Red and white streamers come out from the ceiling, signaling the win for Portland.