NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 1st (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (25-32) at Portland Trail Blazers (40-18), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers will carry a four-game winning streak into Saturday's contest when they host the Denver Nuggets at Moda Center.
After a three-game slide, the Blazers have been hot with three home wins and a road victory over these same Nuggets on Tuesday. The four wins have come by an average of 17 points.
All four of these consecutive victories came without All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, who has missed five games with a groin injury. He practiced on Friday and his status for Saturday will be determined some time earlier in the day.
Last time out, the Blazers demolished the road-weary Brooklyn Nets. Portland prevailed, 124-80.
Mo Williams scored a team-high 21 points for the Trail Blazers. Will Barton had season highs with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Nicolas Batum finished with 19 points, six assists, and six rebounds in the win.
Damian Lillard netted 14 points, Victor Claver deposited a career-high 13, and Robin Lopez and C.J. McCollum added 11 points apiece in the win.
"This point of the season right now, you want to keep getting better," said Wesley Matthews. "You want to keep reaching to a point where when the playoffs hit, you're playing at your best."
Portland's bench scored 68 points compared to just 45 for Brooklyn.
Thomas Robinson missed the Nets game with a strained left patella and will be a game-time decision Saturday.
The Blazers will host the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks before heading south for five games.
The Nuggets have dropped four in a row and went 3-9 in the month of February.
The fourth consecutive loss was somewhat humiliating as the Nuggets only scored eight points in the first quarter of a 112-89 home loss to the Nets on Thursday.
"I've never seen anything like it," Denver head coach Brian Shaw said of his team's struggles in the first half. "I think our guys just seemed uptight."
Randy Foye notched 15 points while Kenneth Faried and J.J. Hickson each tallied 14 as Denver's forgettable month comes to an end.
When these two teams met on Tuesday, Lillard flirted with a triple-double as the Blazers won 100-95 at the Pepsi Center.
The Blazers have won all three meetings this season to snap a three-game losing streak in the series. Portland is 7-1 as the host in the last eight matchups.
03/01 10:21:13 ET