NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 3rd (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (20-39) at Portland Trail Blazers (41-18), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers will carry a five-game winning streak into a home matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.
Portland hasn't lost since a three-game losing streak in mid-February. These five consecutive victories, four of which have come at home, have moved the Blazers back into third in the Western Conference, a game ahead of the Houston Rockets and L.A. Clippers.
LaMarcus Aldridge returned to the lineup Saturday after a five-game absence with a groin injury to score 16 points and grab seven rebounds in Portland's 102-96 home win over the Denver Nuggets.
"It felt good. My timing was a little off but it felt good to be back out there playing with the guys," said Aldridge. "I felt good, a little tired, but for the most part my body felt good and my conditioning felt good."
The Blazers recorded their 12th win against the Northwest Division. No team has more than 10 wins against a division.
Robin Lopez had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Damian Lillard netted 17 points. Nicolas Batum snatched 16 rebounds for Portland and became the fourth Blazer this season to record 16 or more boards.
The Blazers are 20-2 this season when holding opponents under 100 points.
The Lakers ended a three-game slide on Friday night with a 126-122 home win over the Sacramento Kings.
Jordan Farmar drained eight of Los Angeles' franchise-record 19 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 30 points. Farmar went 8-of-10 from distance, while the Lakers shot 70.4 percent as a team from beyond the arc en route to a season-high point total.
"I wanted to be aggressive because we were losing," Farmar said. "We were shooting the ball pretty well tonight."
MarShon Brooks supplied 23 points, while Jodie Meeks scored 22 on 8-of-8 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-3 from long range, for the Lakers, who had lost three straight and seven of their last eight games.
Pau Gasol also added 22 points and Wesley Johnson chipped in 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kent Bazemore also finished with 12 points and Kendall Marshall handed out 10 assists despite going scoreless.
The Lakers are at home for their next two.
The Blazers beat the Lakers on Dec. 1 and the two teams will tangle again on April 1 in Los Angeles. The Lakers have won five of the last seven encounters, but have dropped 12 of their last 15 in Portland.
03/03 10:23:59 ET