Portland Trail Blazers vs. Seattle SuperSonics -- the rivalry that was

Jamie Hudson
NBC Sports Northwest

Who else is really missing the I-5 rivalry right now? 

After watching Thursday's classic game on NBCSNW with the Trail Blazers taking the Seattle SuperSonics to three overtimes in a come from behind win, it's hard not to think about the Pacific Northwest rivalry.  

Portland's 130-124 triple-overtime victory over the Sonics in Seattle on Dec. 1, 1990 was a fun one!

The Blazers were down by 14 in the fourth, but this 1990-91 Trail Blazers squad never gave up. Remember, this was a Portland team that would end up making a trip to the Western Conference Finals that season.

At this point in the year, the victory over Seattle helped the Blazers improve to 13-1.

The Blazers did get some help, though, by not having a video review system.

Since there was no monitor to review a shot that was swished in after the buzzer sounded, that meant the Blazers forced a second OT.

Terry Porter led Portland with 38 points and made a three-pointer at the end of the first overtime to tie the game. He was double-teamed and then stripped of the ball on the way up, but he recovered it in the air and somehow managed to get off the shot that tied the game.

The officials counted the basket even though… Well, you be the judge.

The 1990 game had Rip City chuckling when thinking about how different NBA broadcasts used to be.

For example, the "ComputerLand" Fast Stats -- those were a big deal!

But more than anything, this Trail Blazers Classic Game had Blazers fans talking about what used to be between these two teams.

The passion and hatred for one another was there.

The I-5 rivalry was something special in the Pacific Northwest, no doubt about that.

Fans shared what they miss most about the battles between the Blazers and Sonics, all the while hoping that the Emerald City will someday get a team back.


Portland held a 94-98 record against Seattle before the SuperSonics relocated to OKC. The Blazers and Sonics were even at 2-2 in playoff series.

  • 1991 West First Round Series – Trail Blazers win series, 3-2

  • 1983 West First Round Series – Trail Blazers win series, 2-0

  • 1980 West First Round Series – Sonics win series, 2-1

  • 1978 West Semifinals – Sonics win series, 2-4

Trail Blazers head coach Rick Adelman spoke very highly of the Dec. 1, 1990 triple-overtime win.

"That, to me, was the best we've ever had in the regular season," Adelman said postgame. "We had it won twice, and we lost it three or four times. I just didn't ever know what was going to happen next."

Porter found Jerome Kersey under the basket and he was fouled as regulation came to an end. Kersey, a 64 percent foul shooter, missed the first shot, but then hit the second one to tie the game and send the game into its first overtime.

Fans showed their love for TP and Kersey.  

This game was also a nice preview of what was to come later in the season.

In the 1990-91 Playoffs, the top-seeded Blazers, who finished the regular season with a franchise-record 63 wins, were able to move past the eighth-seed Sonics. 

Seattle gave Portland all they could handle in that series. The Blazers took the first two games at the Memorial Coliseum, but the Sonics won both games in Seattle. In the decisive fifth game, the Trail Blazers came out on top, 119-107.

Now, all that's left to say is -- bring back the Sonics. 

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Seattle SuperSonics -- the rivalry that was originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

What to Read Next