Growing up in Portland, Damon Stoudamire cheered the Trail Blazers to a lot of playoff victories.
On Tuesday night, he led them to a big one - 99-94 over the Los Angeles Lakers."I've just dreamed about winning a playoff game," Stoudamire said. "The momentum has switched just a little. Now we've got to adjust and match them and, with that home crowd, we'll just see what happens."
Stoudamire scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Blazers avoided being swept out of the first round.
The Lakers still lead the best-of-5 first-round series 2-1, but the Blazers can pull even with a home-court victory in Game 4 on Thursday night.
The Lakers were outrebounded 52-38 and failed to give much help to Shaquille O'Neal, who had 36 points and 16 rebounds.
"When the big guy is doing everything out there, we've got to do something for him to make his life a little easier," Eddie Jones said. "Tonight, we didn't."
Los Angeles was 3-for-20 from 3-point range. In the fourth quarter, O'Neal was 6-for-7 from the field.
"It was very frustrating," O'Neal said. "When I give the ball up, my guys have got to make those guys pay."
Walt Williams scored 17 points as the Blazers' reserves outscored their Lakers' counterparts 26-12. Isaiah Rider had 18 points and 10 rebounds. He was only 6-for-19 from the field, but had an acrobatic reverse layup to put the Blazers up 94-89 with 1:46 to go, then sealed the victory with four free throws in the final 8.1 seconds.
O'Neal was 16-for-23 from the field but made only four of 12 free throws.