Trail Blazers vs Sixers Saturday, 03/19/11 AT 07:00PM

Preview: Trail Blazers Get Even With Sixers With Third Win

  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 5.0

    It’s been almost four months since the Portland Trail Blazers and the Philadelphia 76ers have gone head-to-head, but on Saturday both teams will meet again as the Trail Blazers try to march to their third consecutive win at the Rose Garden. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.

    The last time both teams faced off was on Nov. 30, 2010, when Portland was taken 88-78 in Philadelphia.

    Elton Brand led the Sixers with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and made 4-of-4 from the line after outscoring the Trail Blazers 22-11 in the fourth quarter.

    Wesley Matthews, however, led all scorers with 26 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge recorded a double-double with 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. 

    Portland struggled from the floor, shooting just 37 percent in the loss, but things have drastically changed.

    The Trail Blazers are coming off their second win in a row at home after mounting a landslide 37-12 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first quarter en route to the 111-70 sweep on Thursday.

    Aldridge registered his 31st double-double with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds as Portland finished shooting 54 percent from the field.

    Five other Trail Blazers score in double digits–Gerald Wallace (17), Nicolas Batum (14), Matthews (14), Rudy Fernandez (13) and Patty Mills (11).

    Matthews knocked down four 3-pointers for the Trail Blazers, who hit 11-of-27 from beyond the arc. In his last 15 games, Matthews has hit at least one three, while connecting on 59.4 percent from that distance. 

    Portland’s defense has been just as good in both wins over Dallas and Cleveland. The Trail Blazers have forced 16.5 turnovers in its past two wins since Wallace has entered the starting rotation.

    Portland will try to even up the series for the second consecutive year. Both teams have ended the season in a draw six of the last seven times. 

    Philadelphia is riding identical success to Portland after topping the Sacramento Kings 102-80 Friday for its second straight road win.

    The UCLA rookie Jarue Holiday led the team with 15 points, nine rebounds, five assist and four steals to keep the Sixers perfect, 2-0, on their three-game trip.

    Louis Williams hit three 3-pointers for 14 points, Andre Iguodala recorded 13 points and a game-high nine assists, and Brand ended with 10 points and six rebounds.

    Philadelphia will be competing in a back-to-back, which it has struggled in the past months. The Sixers have won just two of their last nine matchups on the back end of consecutive nights. 

    The Trail Blazers will be without Greg Oden and Elliot Williams, who are both out with knee injuries. Andre Miller is listed as questionable after having to attend family matters on Friday during practice. 

    For Philadelphia, Iguodala will not play due to a knee injury. 

    Watch the Trail Blazers go for their third win in a row 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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