The Washington Wizards' five-game road trip against Western Conference teams got off to a less than encouraging start.

The Wizards hope to bounce back from a disappointing loss Wednesday when they visit the Western Conference-worst SuperSonics, who might be playing one of their final games in Seattle.

Washington (36-34) entered its road trip winners of six of its previous seven games, but looked flat in Tuesday's 102-82 loss to Portland.

The Wizards shot only 35.8 percent, were outrebounded 55-36 and could not take advantage of a Trail Blazers team that was without leading scorer Brandon Roy for the final three quarters after he suffered a strained right groin.

Antawn Jamison, who is averaging a team-high 21.6 points, had only nine points and shot 3-for-13, while Caron Butler finished with 19 points and went just 6-for-20 from the field.

"It was the story of two teams,'' Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "One team could shoot straight, the other team couldn't.''

Washington's lead over sixth-place Philadelphia has shrunk to one-half game in the Eastern Conference, but facing Seattle (17-54) could help the Wizards get back on track.

Washington beat the Sonics 108-86 at home on Jan. 6, its third straight win in the series and seventh in the last eight meetings.

Butler had 33 points, five assists and four steals in the win over the Sonics in January. He is averaging 29.0 points and shooting 56.3 percent from the floor in his last six games against them.

Jamison had 21 points and 12 rebounds versus Seattle earlier this season.

After facing the Sonics, the Wizards continue their road trip against Sacramento on Friday, the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday and Northwest Division-leading Utah on Monday.

Washington will likely be without three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas for the remainder of the trip after he had his return from knee surgery pushed back a week.

The Sonics opened a seven-game homestand Monday with a 97-84 victory over Portland. It ended an 11-game losing streak - their second skid of 10 or more games this season.

While Seattle notched its first win since March 2, the future of the franchise drew more attention.

With Sonics owner Clay Bennett pressing to move his team to Oklahoma City as early as next season, the fans chanted "Save Our Sonics!'' during any lull in the action.

"I heard them and that's something I love," said Sonics rookie and leading scorer Kevin Durant, who finished with 23 points for the second straight game. "The crowd was into it tonight and that shows they're going to stick behind us.''

On Tuesday, commissioner David Stern said a subcommittee of three NBA owners would suggest approval of the Sonics' move by the rest of the league.

Seattle has not won consecutive games since winning a season-high three in a row Jan. 29-Feb. 2.


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