NBA

Thu, Jan 2, 2014 - 10:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Bobcats-Trail Blazers Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The Portland Trail Blazers ended their only losing streak of the season with a stirring comeback against one of the top teams in the Western Conference. Their favorable schedule would appear to give them a good chance to avoid another skid in the near future.

The Blazers will face six straight opponents with sub-.500 records beginning with Thursday night's visit from the slumping Charlotte Bobcats.

Portland (25-7) suffered each of its back-to-back losses on last-second shots before coming away with a 98-94 victory at Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

"It's a long way to go," coach Terry Stotts said. "It shows what we're capable of doing. We have to sustain it. But to get a win like that, after two disappointing losses, and again, getting it in a back-to-back on the road, that's a good win."

LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 25 points and 14 rebounds while helping the Blazers rally from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and pull within one-half game of the Thunder in the Northwest Division. Damian Lillard made two free throws with 2.1 seconds left to finish with 21 points and 11 assists.

"The better teams in the league, a lot of times, they don't lose two in a row. They hardly ever lose three in a row," Lillard said. "We knew that that's not something we wanted to deal with, losing three in a row, especially after two heartbreakers.

"We defended a lot better. We were focused, and we knew what we needed to do coming in. We just kept with it and grinded it out."

A matchup with Charlotte (14-19) seems to give Portland the chance to keep heading in the right direction. The Blazers, 11-1 against Eastern Conference teams, will also face Philadelphia, Sacramento, Orlando, Boston and Cleveland in its next six games. Their only road game is at Sacramento.

The Bobcats have lost a season-worst four in a row and are 0-3 on their season-high, five-game trip after a 112-85 drubbing by the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Charlotte failed to crack 40.0 percent shooting for the third time in four games and second in a row (38.2 percent). Kemba Walker extended his streak of double-digit scoring performances to a career-high 22 contests, but his 14 points matched Al Jefferson for the team lead Wednesday.

The Bobcats had suffered each of their previous nine losses by an average of 4.1 points and their prior five by a combined 15 points.

''They picked up their defense, made us take tough shots, and we weren't able to make them," Walker said. "On the offensive end, they moved the ball really well, shared the ball and made shots. We just couldn't get over the hump in the second half.''

Charlotte has lost its last five games in Portland by an average of 23.6 points - including a 112-68 defeat Feb. 1, 2012 - and has dropped seven of eight overall in the series. The Bobcats fell 122-105 in Oregon on March 4 in the most recent matchup.

Charlotte, however, had been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA during that game. The Bobcats are among the best this season, allowing 93.8 points per game on 42.5 percent shooting.

Tagged: Trail Blazers, Hornets, Al Jefferson

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..