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Trail Blazers v. Raptors preview: Batum, Camby expected to play

01/19/12
  1. Written by: KevinHudson

    The Portland Trail Blazers open up a trip-ending back-to-back against the Toronto Raptors Friday. Tipoff is schedule for 4 p.m. and can be seen locally on CSN (Comcast channel 37). 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the radio call.

    A victory Friday night would leave open the possibility of a 3-3 split on the six-game road trip with one game against the Detroit Pistons remaining.

    Portland (8-6) is coming off a 92-89 loss at Atlanta, a game that saw the Trail Blazers erase a 13-point fourth quarter deficit before letting their comeback opportunity slip away with missed shots and free throws.

    Jamal Crawford led Portland with 22 points on 8-of-22 shooting in the loss. He also logged five assists without turning the ball over.

    The Trail Blazers recent turnovers woes took a turn for the better on the whole against the Hawks, as they turned the ball over just nine times to Atlanta's 14. Point Guard Raymond Felton cleaned up his play notably in the contest, notching eight assists against one turnover to contrast his 12 assist, eight turnover game at New Orleans.

    LaMarcus Aldridge tallied his third double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

    Nicolas Batum left the game in the first half and did not return after being poked in the left eye by Hawks forward Tracy McGrady. X-rays taken on the eye came back negative for an orbital fracture. He is listed as day-to-day, though the forward said on his twitter account that he would be ready to play against Toronto on Friday.

    "My eye is fine, X-ray is negative. I should be ok for the Raptors," he tweeted. An hour later, on the subject of possible goggles to protect the eye Friday, he tweeted: "...if I do , I'm gonna go to protective goggles ala Edgard Davis (former soccer player)."

    Marcus Camby is still listed day-to-day with an ankle sprain, though the center said after practice in Toronto on Thursday that he would likely play for the first time since rolling his ankle against the San Antonio Spurs.

    Toronto (4-11) is coming off a 96-73 loss at Boston Wednesday, and have lost four consecutive games since losing forward Andrea Bargnani, who was averaging 22.3 ppg and 6.5 rpg before suffering a strained calf in his left leg.

    Bargnani is listed as day-to-day and his status is unclear for Friday's contest with Portland at Air Canada Centre. In 11 games with Bargnani, the Raptors were averaging 87.8 points and shooting .439 (367-for-836) from the field. Without Bargnani in the lineup, Toronto is averaging 77.8 points and shooting .397 (122-for-307) from the floor.

    In his absence the Raptors have turned to forward Ed Davis, who scored nine points on 3-of-7 shooting while grabbing nine boards at Boston. Toronto was led by Gary Forbes with 18 points off the bench on 5-of-6 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan led the starting unit in the loss with 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting and added four assists and three rebounds.

    Portland will wrap up the back-to-back, and the road trip, at Detroit Saturday, 4:30 p.m. (Comcast SportsNet, 750 AM The Game), while Toronto heads out on a five-game swing starting Sunday in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

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