Wesley Matthews hit the big shot. LaMarcus Aldridge had the big game. And Brandon Roy had big contributions.
Through no fault of their own, they owned spotlight and attention after the Trail Blazers' nail-biting 89-85 victory over Orlando at Amway Center, the Blazers' sixth consecutive road win.
Aldridge was interviewed by Blazers television, Roy by Blazers radio, and Matthews' three-pointer with 3:02 left was the SportsCenter highlight.
Operating in the shadows of the spotlight and attention was veteran Andre Miller, who had a pretty big night of his own.
In a game that was indicative of his stellar but uncelebrated career, Miller capped an effective 15-point, seven assist performance with two heady plays to help the Blazers stave off a furious Magic rally from 14 points down in the third quarter.
In the process, his final assist - the one that resulted in Matthews' game-breaking three - moved Miller into a tie with Guy Rodgers for 15th place on the NBA's all-time assists list.
By the time he shuffled out of the showers, water still dripping off his head, Miller still hadn't heard the news that he had moved into the top 15 in assists. Usually quiet and to himself, and almost always void of emotion, Miller couldn't help but crack a smile at the news.
"That's cool,'' Miller said. "There's a lot of point guards who have come through this league, and just to be up there is cool.''
It was fitting the way Miller moved into the tie with Rodgers (who passed many of his assists to Wilt Chamberlain). Miller did it Monday like he usually does, with more guile than flash, more pace than push and more savvy than style.
On his pass to Matthews, the Blazers were in play where Miller and Aldridge were playing a two-man game, reading off each other to dictate who would get the shot. But in the process of the play developing, an alternative developed. Matthews' man left him to prevent Aldridge from getting the ball. In the process, Gerald Wallace screened his man.
Trail Blazers magic win moves Andre Miller into realm of assists leaders
Oregonian | Mar 8