NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 20th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (34-47) at Portland Trail Blazers (26-55), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The disappointing Los Angeles Lakers finish the 2004-05 campaign on the road, as they visit the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at the Rose Garden in the season finale for both clubs.
The Lakers will not participate in the playoffs for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign. They were 33-49 that season and finished in fifth place in the Pacific Division.
Portland has missed qualifying for the postseason for the second straight season after a string of 21 straight playoff appearances was snapped last spring.
This is the third meeting of the season between the clubs. The Lakers defeated the Blazers on February 1st at the Staples Center and on February 23rd at the Rose Garden. A win tonight would give the Lakers their first regular-season series sweep of Portland since the 1988-89 campaign.
The struggling Lakers have lost five in a row and will try and head into the offseason on a winning note. On Monday, Mickael Pietrus scored 25 points and Baron Davis had 24 with 13 assists, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 126-99 rout of the Lakers at The Arena in Oakland. All-Star Kobe Bryant scored 22 points to lead the reeling Lakers, who have lost 18 of their last 20 games overall.
Bryant leads the Lakers in scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (6.1 apg) this season. He has scored 20 or points in three straight games and is averaging 25 points, six rebounds and eight assists in that span.
The Lakers, who finished 22-19 as the host, are a dismal 12-28 as the visitor this season. The have lost two straight and 11 of their last 12 on the road. The Lakers were 22-19 as the visitor in the 2003-04 campaign.
Portland will try and closeout its miserable the season with a win. On Tuesday, Carmelo Anthony tied his season-high with a team-leading 36 points, as playoff-bound Denver finished its regular season with a 119-115 victory over the lottery-bound Trail Blazers at the Pepsi Center. Darius Miles had a career-high 47 points and 12 boards in the loss for Portland.
Ruben Patterson chipped in 16 points on Tuesday , while Damon Stoudamire had 14 and rookie Sebastian Telfair recorded 11 points and 13 assists for the Blazers, who have lost four of their last five overall.
The Blazers are just 17-23 at the Rose Garden this season. They have won just two of their last eight at home. Last season, Portland was a respectable 25-16 as the host.
Portland is 4-14 in Wednesday games this season.
04/20 10:39:41 ET