Having ended one five-game losing streak, the Portland Trail Blazers need to stop another if they hope to climb back into the playoff race.
The Trail Blazers will try to complete a home-and-home sweep of the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday night at KeyArena.
Portland (29-25) beat Seattle 92-88 on Thursday for its first victory since Feb. 6. The Trail Blazers managed just 85.6 points and were outscored by an average of 12 points during their slide.
The Blazers are in 10th place in the Western Conference, 4 1/2 games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff spot. Portland also is just 11-13 since a 13-game winning streak - the longest in the NBA this season - from Dec. 3-30.
"We were scrapping and getting out after loose balls," said Blazers guard Brandon Roy, who had 19 points and career-high 14 rebounds. "It's great to get a win but we're not there yet.''
Now, Portland will be trying to end a five-game road losing streak. The Trail Blazers, who have not won away from home since a 111-109 overtime victory in Atlanta on Jan. 21, are just 8-18 on the road and will play nine of their next 12 there.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks on Thursday, but Roy's health may be a concern. The reigning rookie of the year, who missed practice Wednesday because of a viral chest infection and minor ankle injury, made just 2 of 8 shots in the second half and was scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Roy, a Seattle native, is averaging 19.5 points and 5.8 assists to lead the team in both categories.
Thursday's win was Portland's second this season and third straight against Seattle (14-39), where the Blazers have dropped six of eight.
"Our guys played really hard and really well, but just not hard enough,'' Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said.
Kevin Durant had 20 points for the SuperSonics, who lost for the fourth time in six games. Seattle, though, has won four of its last six at home.
"It seemed like they just always had a little bit of a lead and we could never really take over,'' said Nick Collison, who had 13 points and 14 rebounds. "Each time we needed a stop we couldn't get it.''
Before the game, the SuperSonics took part in a three-team, 11-player trade, receiving Donyell Marshall and Ira Newble from Cleveland and Adrian Griffin from Chicago. Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West were sent to the Cavaliers.
The deal came one day after Seattle acquired Brent Barry, Francisco Elson and a 2009 first-round draft pick from San Antonio for Kurt Thomas. The Sonics waived Barry on Thursday.
"I feel good," Carlesimo told the Sonics' official team Web site. "We've got the core group that I think is going to be here going forward. That's the most important thing.
"I think that (general manager Sam Presti has) done a really good job giving us more flexibility, both with the draft and financially, and also at the end of the year being able to do some things."
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