Wizards Get West Coast Trip Started In Portland
PORTLAND (CBSDC/AP) — Fresh off a win in Detroit, the Wizards hope to keep things going with a victory tonight in Portland.
It’s the first in a series of west coast games that also include the Clippers, Jazz, and Suns.
Tonight, it won’t be easy.
Nearly four years have passed since the Portland Trail Blazers lost three consecutive home games. They seem to have a good chance to prevent that from happening even facing a team coming off its most lopsided road win in about the same span.
Portland looks to recover from another deflating loss and return to its winning ways at the Rose Garden in a matchup with the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
The Blazers (15-13) had been 11-1 at home before dropping their last two games there to Oklahoma City last Monday and Houston on Wednesday. They bounced back to win in New Orleans on Friday before falling 97-94 at Dallas in double overtime the following night.
It was their ninth straight defeat in games decided by five points or fewer and they fell to 0-3 in overtime games, including last week’s home loss to the Thunder.
“We’ve just got to make breaks for ourselves,” coach Nate McMillan told the Blazers’ official website after Saturday’s loss. “We have opportunities and we’ve had them all season long where you’ve got to make plays. You’ve got to make shots, you’ve got to get stops, and, again, tonight we don’t make shots when we have the opportunity.”
Portland has not lost three in a row at the Rose Garden since March 29-April 6, 2008.
The Wizards (6-22) haven’t won there since March 28, 2005, losing six times. They’ve been outscored by an average of 17.5 points in the last four visits, getting held to 79.8 per game.
Washington has lost 13 of 15 road games going back to last season but heads to Portland after opening a five-game trip with a 98-77 win at Detroit on Sunday. JaVale McGee had a second straight double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Nick Young scored 22 for a second consecutive game.
It was the Wizards’ largest margin of victory on the road since a 101-77 win in Milwaukee on Jan. 4, 2008.
“This is a momentum builder for us, hopefully,” coach Randy Wittman said.
However, Wittman’s club is 1-16 against teams that currently have winning records. Plus, the Wizards have won just twice in their last 25 road games against Western Conference foes.
John Wall offset a nine-point, 3-of-10 shooting effort Sunday by matching a career high with 15 assists despite seven turnovers. However, he shot 6 for 25 in two meetings with Portland during his rookie season, averaging 9.5 points with nearly as many turnovers (eight) as assists (nine).
The last meeting was dominated by Portland’s starting frontcourt, with Gerald Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum combining for 72 points in a 111-76 home win March 22.
Aldridge, named an All-Star for the first time last week, had 33 points and 12 rebounds Saturday to help Portland overcome an 18-point deficit and force overtime. He was held to a combined 27 and 12 in his previous two games.
Batum has been coming off the bench but could start in place of center Marcus Camby, who hurt his right ankle against Dallas and was unable to finish the game.
Teammate Jamal Crawford averaged 22.0 points in four games last week but shot 6 of 23 on Saturday, including 1 of 7 from 3-point range.