NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 11th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (13-24) at Portland Trail Blazers (27-9), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers will resume a three-game
homestand Saturday versus the Boston Celtics at the Moda Center.
Portland ended a two-game slide and won for the third time in seven tries with
Wednesday's 110-94 victory over the Orlando Magic behind Nicolas Batum's
fourth career triple-double of 14 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
Orlando led 51-45 at halftime and 75-71 heading into the fourth quarter, but
the Trail Blazers outscored the Magic, 39-19, in the final stanza. Portland
also outscored Orlando, 42-24, in the paint.
"For too long, we let (Orlando) stick right there with us. It all changed in
the fourth quarter," Batum said.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished two points shy of a season-high and recorded 36
points on 16-of-25 shooting to help Portland avoid its first three-game losing
streak of the season. Wesley Matthews chipped in 17 points and Damian Lillard,
who dropped a career-high 41 points on Tuesday, had 11 in the win.
The Trail Blazers are 14-4 at home this season and will close the stay next
Wednesday versus Cleveland. Blazers rookie C.J. McCollum appeared in his first
NBA game after missing 32 games due to a fractured left foot and two games due
to an assignment with the Idaho Stampede. He recorded four points, two
rebounds and one steal in his first NBA appearance.
Boston is mired in a season-worst seven-game losing streak and the woes
continued Friday in a 99-97 setback at Golden State. Warriors guard Steph
Curry hit the go-ahead basket with 2.1 seconds remaining and Gerald Wallace
missed on a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Jeff Green scored 24 points and pulled down 11 boards, while Jared Sullinger
scored 21 points to go with 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who are 0-4 on a
five-game western trip and have lost seven in a row as the visitor. The
Celtics are 5-14 away from TD Garden.
"Lost seven straight and guys are still fighting out there," Sullinger said.
"Guys are still trying to make plays. Guys are still together. It's not like
we're pulling apart."
Kris Humphries finished with 16 points and 14 boards in defeat.
After the Celtics visit the Blazers they will return to Beantown for three
straight games versus Houston, Toronto and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Boston dropped a 109-96 home decision to Portland on Nov. 15, but is 14-4 in
the previous 18 meetings between the teams. Boston has lost 11 of its last 19
trips to the Rose City.
01/11 11:24:05 ET