NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 23rd (All times eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (18-12) at San Antonio Spurs (15-10), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs hope to finish a three-game homestand in perfect fashion Wednesday when they welcome the banged-up Portland Trail Blazers to the Alamo City.
The Spurs improved to 2-0 on their residency Monday when Tony Parker led seven San Antonio players in double figures with 19 points, as the Spurs rolled over the Clippers, 103-87.
"For us, Tony has to be at the top of his game. It's always been that way and always will be," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said.
Tim Duncan added 13 points, while Richard Jefferson and Keith Bogans each chipped in 11 for the Spurs, winners of three straight and six of seven overall. Roger Mason came off the bench and netted 12 points in the win, San Antonio's 14th straight over the Clippers.
Portland, meanwhile, is finishing up a four-game road trip tonight. The Blazers improved to 2-1 on the trek last night with an impressive win against Dallas, the Southwest Division leaders.
Brandon Roy scored a team-best 23 points with six assists, while LaMarcus Aldridge donated 19 points with 12 rebounds in that one, as Portland downed Dallas, 85-81.
Juwan Howard chipped in a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have won two straight. However, they lost center Joel Przybilla to a ruptured right patella tendon and patella dislocation. He suffered the injury after landing awkwardly on his right leg in the first quarter, and is out indefinitely.
That loss is magnified by the fact that starting center Greg Oden is already out for the season with a fractured left kneecap. Meanwhile, forwards Travis Outlaw and Nicolas Batum along with guards Patrick Mills and Rudy Fernandez remain sidelined for Portland.
"Incredible win," Portland head coach Nate McMillan said. "We've talked about it pretty much all season long because things just keep happening. We don't know the reason why and tonight we lost big Joel and the other guys came together, they didn't quit, they rallied, they stayed together."
Howard is expected to start in the middle tonight for the Blazers, who are now without a true center on the roster.
Portland has won three straight contests with San Antonio, including a 96-84 win in the Pacific Northwest early this season. The Blazers have lost 14 of their past 16 trips to the Alamo City.
12/23 10:32:31 ET