NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 4th (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (44-31) at Portland Trail Blazers (49-27), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers will try to move closer to a playoff spot when they open a three-game homestand Friday versus the Phoenix Suns at the Moda Center.
Portland has won four in a row and will also entertain New Orleans and Sacramento on the stay. It is 27-9 in the Rose City this season.
The Trail Blazers continued their winning ways with Tuesday's 124-112 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, as Damian Lillard scored 34 points and LaMarcus Aldridge registered a 31-point, 15-rebound double-double. Robin Lopez also contributed a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, whose winning streak came on the heels of losing three in a row and eight of 11 contests.
"We had a rough stretch, but now we've kind of picked it back up and we're going in the right direction at the perfect time," Lillard said. "Now that we're close to the postseason, we want to have that rhythm going into the playoffs."
Portland now has six winning streaks of at least four games for the first time since 1999-2000 (6).
The Suns have lost two in a row since winning six straight, and are coming off Wednesday's 112-108 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Marcus Morris scored a team-high 16 points, while Goran Dragic and Gerald Green went for 15 apiece. Phoenix, which blew a 17-point lead in the second half, made 46 percent from the floor and scored 21 points off 14 turnovers. Still, it wasn't enough to avoid the loss column.
"They can go small, and they can go big. They have both options. That's why they're a great team," Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said of the Clippers.
Phoenix will try to improve its 19-17 away mark and is even with Memphis for the eighth playoff spot in the West. Both teams are two games behind Golden State for the sixth seed.
The Suns have defeated Portland twice in three tries this season and are 7-3 in the previous 10 games in this series. The Trail Blazers have achieved success at home against Phoenix, going 8-1 in the past nine tries.
04/04 10:33:51 ET