NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, February 12th
(All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (36-16) at Los Angeles Clippers (36-18), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers are going through the NBA
gauntlet and won't catch a break with Wednesday's matchup with the Los Angeles
Clippers at Staples Center.
The Blazers are playing a stretch of games against Indiana, Minnesota,
Oklahoma City, the Clippers and San Antonio. They lost to the Pacers, defeated
the Timberwolves and suffered a 98-95 setback versus the Thunder on Tuesday.
Robin Lopez had 17 points and 14 rebounds, Nicolas Batum scored 18 points and
Damian Lillard added 16 for the Blazers, who shot a lousy 37.6 percent and
committed 17 turnovers.
Rookie C.J. McCollum provided 15 points off the bench and LaMarcus Aldridge
was limited to 12 points, but grabbed 12 rebounds. Aldridge missed a clear
shot at the end and Oklahoma City sealed the win from the foul line.
"We had shooters on the court and whether LA shoots a jump shot or drives or
passes, I can certainly live with the shot. He's made a living making that
shot," Portland head coach Terry Stotts said about Aldridge's last shot.
The Blazers have alternated wins and losses over the last seven games and have
a 17-10 road record this season.
Much like the Blazers, Los Angeles will face some talent in the next few games
against Portland, San Antonio, Memphis and Oklahoma City.
The Clippers appear primed for their rough stretch after destroying the
Philadelphia 76ers 123-78 on Sunday night. They welcomed the return of star
point guard Chris Paul and scored the first 13 points of the game. The
Clippers led 46-15 after the first quarter, 62-21 in the second after dunks by
Blake Griffin and 89-33 late in the third quarter.
Paul, who missed 18 games with a Grade 3 AC joint separation in his right
shoulder, finished with seven points, eight assists and four steals in just
under 23 minutes in his return. L.A. was 12-6 without him.
"It felt great to play. It looked like it was our offense, but it was really
our defense tonight. Preparation has a lot to do with it. We're all making
plays, it's all about winning," Paul said.
Paul is 17 points shy of 11,000 in his career.
Griffin finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, and is averaging
29.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in his last 12 games. He has scored at least 20
points in each of those contests.
Jamal Crawford finished with 21 points and DeAndre Jordan added 10 points, 20
rebounds and four blocks in the win for the Clippers, who have won seven of
their last 10 games and are 2-1 on a five-game homestand. The Clippers, who
have a 22-4 record as the host this season, posted their largest win in
Crawford is averaging 23.4 ppg since Jan. 17 and has scored 19 or more points
in 13 of the last 14 contests.
The Clippers are second in the NBA with 106.7 ppg and have scored 100 or more
points in 10 straight home games. Portland leads the NBA with 107.7 ppg and
defeated the Clippers 116-112 in overtime on Dec. 26 at the Moda Center.
Los Angeles has won five of the last seven meetings with Portland and four in
a row at home in this series.
02/12 10:25:43 ET