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Reasons To Watch: Thursday night action on NBA TV

Spurs look to continue their historic home streak as Portland visits

POSTED: Mar 17, 2016 12:06 PM ET


Will Damian Lillard and Portland be able to halt the Spurs' home win streak at 42 games?

Blazers vs. Spurs (8:30 ET, NBA TV)

Finding His Groove

Former Trail Blazer and prized offseason acquisition LaMarcus Aldridge has improved every month during his first season with the Spurs. In March, Aldridge is averaging 24.0 points on 57 percent shooting and 94 percent from the line, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. These numbers are miles ahead of his first full month in San Antonio when he averaged 15.9 points on 44.3 percent shooting, eight rebounds and a block. He will look to continue his dominant play in March tonight against his former team, who he scored just six points against in their most recent matchup in mid-November. Expect a much stronger performance from the five-time All-Star tonight.

GameTime: LaMarcus Aldridge Feature

Check out this feature on the Spurs' All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.

Playoff Implications

Every game is critical for the Blazers with only 14 remaining over the final three-plus weeks of the regular season. Portland is the Western Conference's No. 6 seed, four games behind Memphis for No. 5 and only one game ahead of Houston and Dallas (who are both 34-34, but are seeded No. 7 and 8, respectively). Earlier this month, it looked like the streaking Blazers could have a chance to catch the injury-riddled Grizzlies for the No. 5 seed. But a stretch of five losses in seven games has derailed those hopes for Portland and caused some to worry it could fall out of the playoffs entirely if Utah (2½ games behind Portland) catches fire over the final few weeks. A win in San Antonio to snap the Spurs' home win streak would do a lot to help Portland turn its ship around. Speaking of that home win streak ...

Perfect At Home

The Spurs have won 42 straight games at home in San Antonio dating back to last season and have started the 2015-16 season 33-0 at home. This is the third longest undefeated start to a season at home, trailing the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (37-0) and 1995-96 Orlando Magic (33-0). The Warriors are on the Spurs' tails with a 32-0 home record this season, and it's possible we could witness the first two 41-0 undefeated home records in NBA history. The Blazers head into town fresh off of two days rest, which should help as they are 8-2 this season in games after two days rest. The Spurs are 2-0 against Portland this season with an average margin of victory of 12.5 points. However, the teams haven't played since mid-November.

Elite Duo

The Blazers' backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum is the third highest scoring backcourt in the NBA (behind Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson in Golden State and Kyle Lowry-DeMar DeRozan in Toronto). Lillard and McCollum combine to average 46.4 points, 11 assists and 7.6 rebounds, with Lillard's 25.7 points per game leading the way (fifth highest in the NBA). Lillard, who has four games of 40-plus points and two games of 50-plus this season, is one of the league's most exciting players and is reason enough to watch when he plays. Will he and McCollum be able to power past the mighty Spurs and halt their historical home win streak tonight?

-- staff reports