NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (14-19) at Portland Trail Blazers (25-7), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers didn't score 100 points in
their last game, but it was enough to propel them to victory.
Portland is the highest scoring team in the league with 108.3 points per game
and will host the Charlotte Bobcats Thursday night at Moda Center.
The Blazers recorded an important 98-94 win at Oklahoma City on Tuesday in a
battle between Western Conference heavyweights. LaMarcus Aldridge recorded his
18th double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Damian Lillard also
recorded a double-double with 21 points and 11 assists.
Lillard made 4-of-10 3-pointers and became the first player in the league to
reach 100 in that category (102). Portland, which was playing on consecutive
nights, overcame a 16-point deficit and received 16 points from Wesley
Matthews and 15 out of Nicolas Batum.
"Obviously, that was a terrific win to get a game like this on the road during
a back-to-back against the best team in the league right now," said Blazers
coach Terry Stotts.
Portland ended a two-game losing streak and won for the eighth time in the
last 11 tries. The Blazers will also welcome Philadelphia to town and have a
12-3 mark in the Rose City.
In other team news, Blazers rookie CJ McCollum is still recovering from a
fractured foot suffered in training camp, but was assigned to the Idaho
Stampede of the NBA Development League. McCollum was the 10th overall pick in
the 2013 draft out of Lehigh University.
Charlotte is mired in a four-game losing streak and fell to 0-3 on a five-game
road trip after Wednesday's 112-85 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Al
Jefferson posted his seventh double-double in the last eight games with 14
points and 12 rebounds. He has 12 double-doubles in the last 17 games.
Kemba Walker also scored 14 points and three other Charlotte starters finished
in double-digit scoring. Gerald Henderson (12), Anthony Tolliver (11) and Josh
McRoberts (10) rounded out those scorers for the Bobcats, who are 6-9 away
from home and played well in the first half. The Bobcats shot 51.3 percent
(20-for-39) in the first half, including 36.7 percent (4-for-11) from beyond
the 3-point line.
"We played a great, championship-caliber team tonight," Charlotte head coach
Steve Clifford said. "Our first half offense was good, but we didn't play well
in the second half."
The Bobcats were outscored, 25-13, in the third quarter and by a 31-16 margin
in the final stanza.
Charlotte will close the trip Saturday at Sacramento.
Portland swept a two-game series with Charlotte last season and has won three
straight and seven of the last eight meetings between the teams. The Bobcats
are winless in five straight and seven of their nine trips to Portland.
01/02 10:22:43 ET