NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 12th (All times eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (6-3) at Oklahoma City Thunder (4-3), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Portland Trail Blazers will kick off a three-game road trip tonight against the Northwest Division-rival Oklahoma City Thunder.
Portland will also visit New Orleans and Memphis and has alternated wins and losses over its last seven games. It is coming off Tuesday's 100-78 victory versus Detroit at the Rose Garden, as LaMarcus Aldridge posted a game-high 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the charge and help erase the memories of a loss at the Lakers two nights before.
Nicolas Batum had 17 points and Rudy Fernandez added 13 points in a reserve role for the Blazers, who are first in the Northwest and got 11 points from Brandon Roy. Roy has been bothered by a sore knee and is listed as questionable for tonight.
"It was a big win for us," Roy said. "We did a good job of stepping up. We played a little more aggressively."
Knee ailments have been a problem in the Rose City, as centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla are already sidelined because of them. Blazers rookie guard Elliot Williams dislocated his right patella last week.
Meanwhile, the Thunder will continue a four-game homestand Friday and have split the first two installments on the residency.
After losing to Boston in the opener of the homestand on Sunday, Oklahoma City held off a fourth-quarter rally by Philadelphia for a 109-103 victory Wednesday night. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both scored 31 points, while Serge Ibaka had 12 points and seven rebounds in the win.
"It's always good to win the close games," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. "We're getting valuable experience. Our guys are improving every day."
Brooks' team made 49.3 percent of its shots and may not have young forward Jeff Green for a third straight contest due to a sprained left ankle. Green is questionable for tonight's game.
Oklahoma City will also host San Antonio at the Ford Center and already defeated the Trail Blazers, 107-106, in overtime back on November 4 this season from the Rose Garden.
Portland, however, has won six of the previous eight meetings between the teams and three straight as the guest in this series.
11/12 10:39:52 ET