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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 23rd (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Lakers (27-24) at Portland Trail Blazers (21-30), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Portland Trail Blazers start a five-game homestand tonight, as they welcome the Los Angeles Lakers to the Rose Garden.

This is the second meeting of the season between the clubs. On February 1, the Lakers defeated the Trail Blazers, 92-79, at the Staples Center. The teams will play once more in the 2004-05 campaign, as Portland will host the Lakers on April 20th.

The home team has won 12 of the last 14 meetings in this series. The Lakers have won two straight and five of the last eight contests. The Lakers have lost 13 of their last 16 at Portland.

Portland comes into tonight's game having lost four of its last five contests. In their final game before the All-Star break, the Trail Blazers fell to the Indiana Pacers, 95-87, on February 16th at Conseco Fieldhouse. With the loss, Portland finished its four-game road trip with a 1-4 record.

Joel Przybilla and Darius Miles scored 18 apiece against Indiana to lead the Blazers, who have lost five of their last nine games overall. Przybilla also had 17 rebounds in the loss, while Damon Stoudamire contributed 14 points and a team-high five assists in 40 minutes of action.

Portland is 12-24 when it scores under 100 points this season.

Przybilla has recorded three straight double-doubles and is averaging 17 points and 15 rebounds in those games. The 7-1 center has seven double-doubles on the season and has registered double-digits in rebounding 12 times in the 2004-05 campaign.

The Trail Blazers, who are 5-5 in their last 10 games at the Rose Garden, are 13-10 at home this season. Portland will also host the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Lakers go for their third straight win. On Tuesday, Chris Mihm scored 19 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 104-95 victory over Boston at Staples Center. Lamar Odom added 21 with 11 boards in the win.

All-Star Kobe Bryant also had 21 for the Lakers, who won for just the third time in eight games. Jumaine Jones contributed 14 for Los Angeles, which beat the Celtics for the fourth straight time.

The Lakers are 8-14 as the visitor this season. LA has lost two straight and five of its last six on the road.

02/23 10:29:57 ET


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