Blazers visit Toronto in search of sixth straight win
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers own the third-best record in the NBA and will try to improve on that Sunday afternoon when they meet the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
The Blazers grabbed their seventh victory on the season and fifth in a row on Friday night with a 109-96 road win over the Boston Celtics. The Blazers won every quarter against Boston.
"We want to keep this winning streak going so that is one of the reasons we needed this game," said forward Nicolas Batum.
LaMarcus Aldridge paced Portland with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Batum had a great all-around game with 18 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Mo Williams also scored 18 off the bench.
Damian Lillard managed 17 points and Wesley Matthews chipped in 13 points.
The Blazers complete the eastern trip with a game in Brooklyn on Monday and a stop in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
While their winning streak is impressive, the combined record of their opponents during this span is 14-27 and that includes two victories over the Sacramento Kings.
The Raptors dropped a home game Friday night against the Chicago Bulls, 96-80. There's no shame in losing to the Bulls, but former MVP Derrick Rose didn't play due to a sore groin.
"We had a good week and a bad game tonight," said Toronto head coach Dwane Casey. "Chicago is a physical team and when you don't bring it, you're going to run into a game like that."
The Raptors shot only 35.4 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from long range.
DeMar DeRozan was sensational on Friday with 37 points on 13-for 22 shooting. Rudy Gay had 20 points and nine rebounds, but no other Toronto player scored in double figures.
The Raptors' bench managed only 10 points and five of Toronto's second-unit players didn't score a point.
Toronto visits Philadelphia on Wednesday, then has four straight at home.
The Raptors snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Blazers with a home victory on Jan. 2. The Blazers had taken four straight in the great north prior to the setback last season.
11/17 10:38:32 ET