NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 15th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (14-24) at Portland Trail Blazers (28-9), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - LaMarcus Aldridge and the Portland Trail Blazers will close out a three-game homestand Wednesday versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Blazers have won two straight since dropping two in a row and four of the previous six contests, and recorded a 112-104 victory versus Boston on Saturday at the Moda Center. Aldridge had 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting and also pulled down 13 rebounds. He was one of seven players to score in double figures and has netted 20 or more points in eight of his last nine contests.
Aldridge has posted 15 games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season, the fourth most in the league.
Nicolas Batum added 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, Wesley Matthews had 18 points and Robin Lopez finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers, who improved to 15-4 in the Rose City. Damian Lillard scored 15 points to go with six assists, Mo Williams scored 11 points and rookie C.J. McCollum contributed 10 off the bench in the win.
"Well it's always good to get a win," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "You try not to be disappointed about not playing necessarily as well as you wanted to. Offensively, we were good and defensively, we were good when we needed to be. But this stretch of playing teams with a lesser record, apparently is tough for us to get up for. But in the end, it was good to get the win."
Portland is first in the NBA with 109.1 points per game, but is allowing 102.9 ppg on defense. After hosting the Cavaliers, the Trail Blazers will begin a four-game road trip against San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Oklahoma City.
The Cavs will continue their five-game road trip and won for the third time in the past four tries with Tuesday's 120-118 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Luol Deng led the way with 27 points and Anderson Varejao chipped in 18 and 18 rebounds.
Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving scored 17 and 13 points, respectively, while Tristan Thompson recorded 15 points to go along with 13 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who buried 13-of-17 3-pointers. Deng buried all five of his shots from downtown and Matthew Dellavedova made 3-of-5 3-pointers en route to 11 points.
"We found a way to win. Give our guys credit, they scrapped their way to a win. We have to understand we have to defend first. We did enough just to get a win," said Cavs head coach Mike Brown, who returned to Los Angeles for the first time since he was fired by the Lakers after a disappointing 1-4 start to last season.
Cleveland outrebounded L.A. by a 48-35 margin and is 4-16 on the road. It will close the trip Friday at Denver and is scheduled to play five straight at home versus Dallas, Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix and New Orleans.
The Cavaliers lost to the Trail Blazers 119-116 on Dec. 17 at Quicken Loans Arena, where Lillard hit the game-winning 3-pointer and finished with 36 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Aldridge had 26 points and 15 boards in that one, while Irving and Waiters scored 25 points apiece.
Portland is 5-1 in the last six meetings with Cleveland.
01/15 10:26:56 ET