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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 16th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (9-31) at Portland Trail Blazers (20-18), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Portland Trail Blazers will try to end a three-game losing streak on Wednesday night when they welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to town.
After a four-game winning streak saw the Blazers soar in the standings, things have fallen apart a bit since Friday. Portland fell to the Golden State Warriors on the road that night, then lost Sunday at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On Tuesday, the Blazers lost their first overtime game, 115-111, to the Denver Nuggets in the Mile High City. Wilson Chandler buried a 3-pointer late in overtime to send the Blazers to 4-1 in overtime contests.
While a three-game losing streak sounds bad, the opponents will all be headed to the playoffs and the combined margin of defeat during this slide was 14 points.
"We've won more than our share of close games. We've lost three close ones, but I don't think our confidence will waver," Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
LaMarcus Aldridge netted a game-high 28 points as all five Portland starters scored in double figures. The bench combined for 12 points in the overtime loss.
That last number may play a role in Wednesday night's affair. After a marathon game in the high altitude of Denver, the starters will probably be tired, but can Portland's bench, the lowest scoring in the NBA, help in the second of a back-to-back?
Only two spots higher in bench scoring are the Cavs, who are also losers of three in a row. All of Cleveland's defeats have been on the road as this is the fourth of a five-game west trip that will mercifully end on Saturday in Utah.
The Cavs' most recent setback came on Monday in Sacramento to the Kings. They fell 124-118 as six Cavs scored in double figures, led by 33 from Dion Waiters.
The problem was six Kings also had double-digit scoring nights and shot 51.2 percent from the field. Sacramento took a 12-point lead into the half after scoring 69 points in the first two frames.
"I thought we did much better obviously in the second half," said Cavs head coach Byron Scott. "The first half we just allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do and that's what ended up catching up and costing us."
The Blazers took the first meeting of the season, a 118-117 double-overtime thriller on Dec. 1. Portland has won four in a row in this series and Cleveland hasn't won in Portland since Jan. 10, 2010.
01/16 10:42:43 ET
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