(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the biggest
surprises this season and will put their nine-game winning streak to the test
Saturday in a road matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
Portland (Northwest) and Golden State (Pacific) are division leaders, but the
Blazers enter this evening's tilt red hot.
The Trail Blazers made it nine wins in a row with Friday's 98-95 victory
versus the Chicago Bulls at home, as the hosts rallied in the second half and
had a 34-12 advantage in the third quarter. Wesley Matthews scored 28 points,
Damian Lillard had 20 and Robin Lopez finished with 13 and 16 rebounds. The 16
rebounds were a career-high for Lopez.
"This kind of game is great for us. We needed this game. We've won every kind
of way. we've played almost every style of team now, playing Chicago, which is
just a bully team. They played hard and they played physical. That's how they
get stuff done," said Matthews.
Nicolas Batum contributed 17 points and Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge ended
with 12 and six boards.
Portland trailed by as many as 21 points and later went ahead 74-70 on
consecutive 3-pointers from Mo Williams with under three minutes to go in the
third. Portland's winning streak is its longest since a 13-game run from Dec.
3-30, 2007 and the 11-2 start is the best since winning 13 of 15 to begin the
The Blazers have won six in a row on the road, the most since winning seven
straight as the guest from Feb. 5 - March 8, 2011.
Golden State suffered a 102-95 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday and
played without guard Steph Curry because of a mild concussion. All-purpose
guard/forward Andre Iguodala left the game with a hamstring injury and both
players are day-to-day. Iguodala moved over to the point and Barnes made his
third start in Curry's absence.
David Lee had 21 points and 13 rebounds, Harrison Barnes added 20 points and
Klay Thompson scored 19 for the Warriors, who have lost two straight after
winning four in a row and saw the Lakers use a 15-0 run late in the game to
cruise to victory. Andrew Bogut had 12 points and 13 boards in defeat.
"We had enough to get it done and we did not get it done," said Golden State
head coach Mark Jackson. "We can not walk away with a good taste with how we
played and the effort we put forth."
The Warriors will hit the road again for four games against New Orleans,
Dallas, Oklahoma City and Sacramento after hosting Portland.
Golden State swept a three-game season series with Portland in 2012-13 and has
won eight of the past 12 matchups. The Blazers have lost five of six and 12 of
their past 16 trips to Oakland.
The Sports Network