NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 1st
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (25-21) at Portland Trail Blazers (33-13), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers have dropped two straight,
but will try to get back on track Saturday night when they welcome the Toronto
Raptors to the Moda Center.
Portland fell at the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, then got clobbered at
home by the Memphis Grizzlies, 98-81, on Tuesday.
Two days after the lopsided loss at Golden State, the Blazers made just 34.5
percent of their shots in losing for the fourth time in six games.
"We just didn't have it for whatever reason," said Portland guard Wes
Matthews. "No excuse, we just didn't play well enough. They came out with a
sense of urgency that we didn't match."
LaMarcus Aldridge paced Portland with 27 points and 16 rebounds and Damian
Lillard added 16 points in the setback. Both players were named as reserves
for the Western Conference All-Star team.
Robin Lopez had 14 points, while Nicolas Batum chipped in 10.
The Portland bench managed only six points among seven players.
The Blazers begin a four-game eastern road trip after Saturday's contest. They
will visit the Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and
The Raptors have played great basketball of late, winning three in a row and
five of their last six. Toronto has taken three straight on the road and still
has to visit the Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings and LA Clippers on this sojourn
DeMar DeRozan, fresh off receiving the news that he had been voted to his
first All-Star Game, scored 19 points to lead the Raptors to a 100-90 decision
over the Denver Nuggets on Friday.
Terrence Ross added 18 points in Toronto's third straight victory. Jonas
Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry donated 13 points apiece, and John Salmons had 11
points with nine assists in a reserve role.
"Playing defense and playing together. That's all we've been doing," said
DeRozan. "If we do what we have to do on the defensive end we'll get easy
shots, we can get any shot we want."
The Raptors were sensational, leading 86-70 after three quarters. The lead
stretched to 25 points shortly into the fourth quarter and Toronto cruised to
The Raptors forced 26 turnovers, which led to 29 points.
The Trail Blazers bested the Raptors in overtime in Toronto on Nov. 17 and it
was their ninth victory in the last 10 in the series. Portland has won five
straight as the host against the Raptors.
02/01 11:37:48 ET