NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 17th
(All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (21-4) at Cleveland Cavaliers (9-14), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers will carry their four-game
winning streak into Tuesday night's road contest against the Cleveland
The Blazers haven't lost since a last-second setback at home to the Dallas
Mavericks on Dec. 7. Portland has won four in a row on the road and still has
to visit Minnesota on Wednesday.
The Blazers are an NBA-best 11-2 on the road this season. Their 11 victories
as the visitor match their entire total from last season.
On Sunday, Portland needed overtime to dispatch the Detroit Piston, 111-109.
Damian Lillard finished with 23 points on 6-of-21 shooting, including 0-for-7
from beyond the arc, and hit the game-winning jumper with less than a second
left in overtime.
"It felt good. I had a lot of shots that I let go tonight that felt good that
didn't fall," said Lillard. "When that one went in, I was like 'thank you.'
I'm happy the shot went in."
LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for Portland with 27 points and 12 rebounds. He
became the first player in the NBA this season to record his 20th game of at
least 20 points.
Nicolas Batum netted 18 points and is the only player in the league to make a
a 3-pointer in all of his team's games this year. Wesley Matthews added 14
points and Robin Lopez recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards.
The Cavs saw their three-game winning streak snapped Saturday night in South
Beach. Cleveland fell 114-107 to the two-time defending NBA champion Miami
The Heat built big leads twice in the game, but Cleveland clawed back each
time. In the second quarter, during one of Miami's bursts, Cavs coach Mike
Brown was ejected for arguing a call and the team missed his leadership.
"Obviously we lost our leader with coach Brown going out, but we pulled
together," Kyrie Irving said. "We were in situations like that before, but
this team ... we all believe in one another."
Irving led the Cavs with 19 points, followed by 16 apiece from Dion Waiters
and Tristan Thompson. Jarrett Jack scored 14 off the bench and Earl Clark
scored 12. Alonzo Gee had 10, while starters Andrew Bynum and C.J. Miles
combined for nine points.
Starting with Tuesday night's affair with Portland, the Cavaliers play four of
their next five at home.
The Cavs and Blazers split last season's two matchups with each team winning
on the other's floor. Portland has taken four of the last five meetings,
including two straight at Quicken Loans Arena.
12/17 10:36:17 ET
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