NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 3rd (All times eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (46-30) at Sacramento Kings (24-52), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Having already locked up a postseason spot for a second straight season, the Portland Trail Blazers will try to get back on track when they resume a three-game road trip tonight against the Sacramento Kings.
Portland clinched a playoff berth after beating the New York Knicks on Wednesday, coupled with losses by both Houston and Memphis. However, the Blazers' four-game winning streak was cut short in Thursday's 109-92 loss at Denver in the opener of the trek.
Andre Miller scored 24 points, Martell Webster notched 17 and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points for the Trail Blazers, who are eighth in the Western Conference, just a game behind Oklahoma City for the sixth spot. San Antonio is a half-game ahead of the Blazers in the No. 7 position.
"When a team hits a couple of shots finishing off the third quarter, a six or seven point lead turns to a 10 or 11; it's tough to come off of and get a win," Miller said.
Portland, which lost for just the third time in 15 tries, will also visit the Los Angeles Clippers and is 21-17 away from the Rose Garden.
Sacramento, meanwhile, is playing out the string and will try to put the brakes on a six-game losing streak tonight in the opener of a five-game homestand versus the Blazers, Spurs, Clippers, Mavericks and Rockets.
In Wednesday's 108-99 loss to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, Carl Landry led all scorers with 22 points and Rookie of the Year candidate Tyreke Evans tallied 20 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds in defeat.
"I think we need to learn quickly," said Kings center Jason Thompson. "We have six or seven games left and all but one are at home. Hopefully, we can end the season on a good note."
Donte Greene provided 21 points off the bench and Thompson registered 15 and seven rebounds in a losing cause. On the injury front for the Kings, forward Omri Casspi (illness) is questionable for Saturday and guard Francisco Garcia (wrist) is listed as doubtful.
Portland has won the first three matchups with Sacramento this season and is aiming for its second straight sweep in the series. The Blazers are unbeaten in the past six meetings with the Kings, who have won 12 of the previous 18 games as the host in this series.
04/03 11:59:27 ET