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Blaze of Glory: Portland streaks into meeting with Golden State
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the biggest surprises this season and will put their nine-game winning streak to the test Saturday in a road matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
Portland (Northwest) and Golden State (Pacific) are division leaders, but the Blazers enter this evening's tilt red hot.
The Trail Blazers made it nine wins in a row with Friday's 98-95 victory versus the Chicago Bulls at home, as the hosts rallied in the second half and had a 34-12 advantage in the third quarter. Wesley Matthews scored 28 points, Damian Lillard had 20 and Robin Lopez finished with 13 and 16 rebounds. The 16 rebounds were a career-high for Lopez.
"This kind of game is great for us. We needed this game. We've won every kind of way. we've played almost every style of team now, playing Chicago, which is just a bully team. They played hard and they played physical. That's how they get stuff done," said Matthews.
Nicolas Batum contributed 17 points and Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge ended with 12 and six boards.
Portland trailed by as many as 21 points and later went ahead 74-70 on consecutive 3-pointers from Mo Williams with under three minutes to go in the third. Portland's winning streak is its longest since a 13-game run from Dec. 3-30, 2007 and the 11-2 start is the best since winning 13 of 15 to begin the 1999-2000 season.
The Blazers have won six in a row on the road, the most since winning seven straight as the guest from Feb. 5 - March 8, 2011.
Golden State suffered a 102-95 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday and played without guard Steph Curry because of a mild concussion. All-purpose guard/forward Andre Iguodala left the game with a hamstring injury and both players are day-to-day. Iguodala moved over to the point and Barnes made his third start in Curry's absence.
David Lee had 21 points and 13 rebounds, Harrison Barnes added 20 points and Klay Thompson scored 19 for the Warriors, who have lost two straight after winning four in a row and saw the Lakers use a 15-0 run late in the game to cruise to victory. Andrew Bogut had 12 points and 13 boards in defeat.
"We had enough to get it done and we did not get it done," said Golden State head coach Mark Jackson. "We can not walk away with a good taste with how we played and the effort we put forth."
The Warriors will hit the road again for four games against New Orleans, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Sacramento after hosting Portland.
Golden State swept a three-game season series with Portland in 2012-13 and has won eight of the past 12 matchups. The Blazers have lost five of six and 12 of their past 16 trips to Oakland.
11/23 10:32:02 ET