After playing the Miami Heat to a 21-all stalemate after 12 minutes, the Portland Trail Blazers had fallen behind by 13 points with the clock winding down in the second quarter, thanks to a combination of offensive struggles (a 7 for 17 shooting mark in the quarter) and difficulty stopping the defending champs (Miami went 12 for 23, with Chris Bosh and Ray Allen finding seams in the Portland defense). With possession and the chance to cut into the Heat lead, the Blazers needed a crisp bit of play. They needed something to give them a bit of momentum heading into the second half.
They needed J.J. Hickson.
OK, so maybe they didn't need J.J. Hickson, especially if he was going to throw the ball a solid five feet over his teammate's head and about six rows back into the stands. Then again, considering the nearest Blazer was Sasha Pavlovic, who's shooting a robust 36.6 percent from the field (just the third-worst mark of his career!) off Portland's terrible bench, maybe throwing this one out of the back of the end zone was the right play.
The turnover — one of two for Hickson and 14 for Portland on the evening — didn't wind up hurting the Blazers, who roared back in the second half and scored a 92-90 win over the Heat thanks to a pair of late triples by shooting guard Wesley Matthews. As a result, Hickson's ostensibly indefensible pass wound up not really hurting his team, and we still got an all-time doozy of a cool pass on the order of Carlos Boozer vs. the 76ers, Metta World Peace vs. the Hornets, DeMarcus Cousins vs. the Hawks, Jordan Crawford vs. the Blazers and this ref vs. everybody. Total win/win, as far as I'm concerned.
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