Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 2/4

Game 1: Friday, February 4th
Trail Blazers101
Game 2: Monday, February 14th
Trail Blazers80Final

Trail Blazers 80

(21-29, 8-19 away)

Bobcats 77

(10-39, 8-16 home)

    7:00 PM ET, February 14, 2005

    Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 26 19 18 1780
    CHA 19 22 23 1377

    Top Performers

    Portland: J. Przybilla 19 Pts, 17 Reb, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Charlotte: M. Ely 16 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Blk

    Van Exel hits desperation 3 at buzzer

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The play broke down and Portland nearly lost the ball, so it was up to Nick Van Exel to bail out the Trail Blazers.

    That's exactly what he did.

    Van Exel's 29-foot desperation heave at the buzzer gave Portland an 80-77 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night.

    "I was expecting to get the ball, but with the way they defended, it was taking away a couple of options and we had to improvise," Van Exel said.

    Van Exel was trapped near midcourt on the final possession before throwing a pass on the left sideline to Derek Anderson. He flipped the ball through a double-team back to Van Exel, who drained an off-balance 3-pointer from the left wing after going 7-for-40 in the past four games.

    "I kept calling (Anderson's) name," Van Exel said. "He had the vision to look at the clock. Usually a guy would just shoot it. He realized he had time and kicked it out."

    It was the seventh consecutive loss for the Bobcats -- and the second in a row on a 3 at the buzzer. On Sunday, Tim Thomas got a friendly roll on a 3-pointer to give New York a 102-99 victory.

    "It's hard to believe that could occur back-to-back, but there it is," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "We made a bad decision and Van Exel did what the veterans do."

    Joel Przybilla scored a career-high 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, and Damon Stoudamire and Ruben Patterson had 17 points each for the Blazers, who ended a three-game losing streak.

    Portland won despite playing without leading scorer and rebounder Zach Randolph, who missed his eighth game since January with recurring pain in his right knee.

    Jason Kapono, who had been 0-for-5, hit a 3-pointer with 9 seconds left to tie the game after the Bobcats trailed by five earlier in the quarter.

    "You really have something you can build on because the guys know they're just one possession away," Bickerstaff said.

    Charlotte played without leading scorer and rebounder Emeka Okafor, who missed his second straight game and seventh in eight games with a sprained left ankle. Starting point guard Brevin Knight was out with a sprained right ankle.

    Primoz Brezec returned after missing two games with a bruised left knee. Playing with a white wrap that covered most of his leg, Brezec had 10 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.

    Melvin Ely had 16 points and Gerald Wallace added 14 for the Bobcats, who shot 38 percent.

    Wallace had two thunderous dunks in a 10-0 run that gave Charlotte a 62-55 lead with 4:37 left in the third quarter.

    But as has been the case with the young expansion team, the Bobcats quickly let the lead slip away. Portland scored the next eight points and built a 71-66 lead with 5:26 to go.

    Game notes

    Bickerstaff doesn't believe there will be much activity around the NBA before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. "I don't see teams making deals just to make deals. I think this is a year that you assess your team," Bickerstaff said. ... Valentine's Day wasn't a hit for the Bobcats. The attendance of 9,213 was the lowest of the season and rivaled the disappointing crowds during the Hornets' final season in Charlotte.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 80 77
    FGM-FGA 33-71 (.465) 31-80 (.388)
    3PM-3PA 2-7 (.286) 3-11 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 12-17 (.706) 12-15 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-37 20-49
    Assists 20 14
    Turnovers 16 17
    Steals 13 10
    Blocks 6 4
    Fast Break Points 10 21
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 19 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 7

    Top Performers

    Joel Przybilla Przybilla
    Points: 19
    Reb: 17
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Melvin Ely Ely
    Points: 16
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2