<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Thursday,  June 13 , 2024

Linkedin Pinterest
News / Sports / Blazers

Blazers notebook: Freeland cleans up on glass

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: December 26, 2014, 4:00pm

PORTLAND — It was a bounce-back for a rebounder.

Joel Freeland’s 17 rebounds in Friday’s 114-93 win over Philadelphia were the most by any Portland Trail Blazers player this season.

The center’s board bonanza came while Portland was without three of its key frontcourt players.

LaMarcus Aldridge was out with an illness, Chris Kaman was absent while his wife gave birth and Robin Lopez was out with a broken hand.

“The last few games I really wasn’t at my best rebounding,” Freeland said. “I really wanted to focus on that tonight.”

Despite averaging 21.8 minutes over the past five games, Freeland hadn’t grabbed more than six rebounds. He blamed that on focusing more on outmuscling opponents than grabbing the ball.

“I was more worried about them than getting the rebound,” Freeland said. “Tonight it just kind of fell to me. I was in the right position at the right time.”

Freeland’s 17 rebounds were also a career high including the six pro seasons he played in Europe.

Hitting the bull’s-eye

Wesley Matthews’ new quiver-and-arrow celebration got plenty of exposure Friday. After each of seven 3-pointers he made, he shot an imaginary arrow toward the Blazers bench, where players pretended to hold an apple on their head.

The Blazers made at least 15 3-pointers in back-to- back-games for the first time in franchise history. Friday, Portland was 18-for-49 from 3-point range (41.9 percent). Portland has made 45 the past three games.

RoLo recovering

As his Blazers teammates were warming up, Robin Lopez was hard at work.

Lopez will be out another month with a broken hand he suffered Dec. 15 against San Antonio.

Before Friday’s game, Lopez said his main focus is keeping his conditioning up.

While his teammates were honing their shots, Lopez was running baseline-to-baseline.

Lopez hadn’t suffered an extended injury since the 2009-10 season. Then with Phoenix, he missed the first 15 games with a broken foot and the final 10 with a back injury.

“You’ve just got to take it one day at a time, just as if I were playing basketball,” he said. “I’m just doing the same stuff I did when I played.”