Trail Blazers vs Raptors Friday, 02/11/11 AT 04:00PM

Preview: Trail Blazers Can Keep It Rolling In Toronto

02/10/11
  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 4.8



    The Portland Trail Blazers will embark on another three-game trip, starting Friday in Toronto, where they look to keep their five-game winning streak alive over the Raptors and close out the series on top yet again. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 PM.

    The Trail Blazers (28-24) have tamed the Raptors (14-39) in their last five matchups with their latest 97-84 win coming at the Rose Garden on Nov. 6.  

    Brandon Roy, who announced Wednesday at practice that he would not return this week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees, led Portland with 26 points to pass former Trail Blazer Buck Williams on Portland’s all-time scoring list for the 15th spot. No timetable has been set for his return. 

    LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points and 10 rebounds in the first meeting. His production has skyrocketed in the month of February, dominating San Antonio for a career-high of 40 points, and then bettering it with 42 against Chicago, resulting in wins at the Rose Garden. 

    Aldridge became the first Trail Blazer since Clyde Drexler in 1989 to score at least 40 points in back-to-back home games. 

    Jarrett Jack, who was traded to the New Orleans Hornets in January, led Toronto with 16 points, while three other Raptors–Andrea Bargnani, Leandro Barbosa and Jose Claderon–registered 12 points each. The Raptors shot 36.8 percent from the floor and went 1-17 from beyond the arc. 

    Portland has swept the series, 2-0, two seasons in a row and is seeking its third series win. The Trail Blazers have scored over 100 in three of the last five meetings.  

    At the Air Canada Centre, Portland has won two straight and its defense, which ranks 8th in the league for points allowed with 95.6 a game, and has held Toronto below the century marks in each win. 

    The Trail Blazers will look to improve their last trip of three games that ended 1-2 last week. Portland was stunned, 100-87, in Indiana after falling to a team it had beaten five games in a row and could have claimed its third straight season sweep.

    After rebounding in Cleveland, 111-105, on the road last Saturday with 31 points from Wesley Matthews and five 3-pointers to post the Cavaliers 24th straight loss of the season, Aldridge set his new career-high 42 points at home on Monday to drop the Bulls and win two in a row.  

    It’s been a completely different story for Toronto, which has lost its last two matchups after falling at Milwaukee, 92-74, on Tuesday and at home, 111-100, against the San Antonio to cap a back-to-back Wednesday.

    Bargnani, who leads Toronto’s scoring effort with 21.3 points a game, has excelled in his last three games. The four-year center from Rome, Italy has averaged 27.3 points, shot 47.7 percent from the floor and totaled 82 points over the three-game stretch.

    The Trail Blazers will be without Marcus Camby, Roy, Greg Oden Elliot Williams, who are all nursing knee-related injuries.

    Watch the Trail Blazers in action on Comcast SportsNet Channel 37 with Mike Barrett and Mike Rice. Also, listen to the live play-by-play from Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey on 95.5 FM The Game.

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