NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 22nd (All times eastern)
Phoenix Suns (11-15) at Portland Trail Blazers (12-12), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams riding four-game winning streaks collide Saturday night from the Rose Garden, where the Portland Trail Blazers will entertain the Phoenix Suns.
Portland has ripped off wins in four straight and six of its last eight games, including a 101-93 triumph versus the Denver Nuggets Thursday night. Nicolas Batum led the charge with 22 points and J.J. Hickson carried the load in LaMarcus Aldridge's absence with 18 points and 18 rebounds.
"We were able to get the win," said Blazers guard Wesley Matthews, who chipped in 20 points. "We want to correct how many points we gave up in the paint, but that's for another day. Tonight we're going to enjoy this win."
Aldridge is hampered by a sprained left ankle and is questionable Saturday.
The Blazers are 4-1 on a six-game homestand and improved to 8-4 as the host.
Following Saturday's conclusion of their residency, the Blazers will pay a visit to the Sacramento Kings Sunday night.
Meanwhile, Phoenix won the last four portions of its five-game homestand and recorded a 121-104 victory versus the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday night.
Shannon Brown connected on five 3-pointers en route to a team-high 26 points, while Goran Dragic ended with 21 points and 11 assists. Jared Dudley scored 20 points for the Suns, who made 17-of-28 3-pointers. Dudley and Dragic both sank four shots from downtown.
"If we run our stuff, people are going to get wide open shots and we just have to knock down shots," said Brown. "Everybody did a great job of finding each other today."
The Suns' four-game win streak is a season high.
Phoenix looks to halt a five-game road losing streak tonight and is just 2-10 away from the Valley of the Sun. The Suns defeated the Blazers, 114-87, in the first meeting of the season back on Nov. 21 thanks to Marcin Gortat's 22 points and seven rebounds.
Blazers rookie Damian Lillard had 24 points in that one. Phoenix has won 16 of the last 24 meetings with Portland, but is winless in six straight trips to the Pacific Northwest.
12/22 10:38:39 ET