Game Day: Trail Blazers vs. Wizards
Portland [31-13] vs. Washington [29-14]
PORTLAND - LaMarcus Aldridge's extended absence certainly provides another tough situation for the Portland Trail Blazers, whose slump began even with their star big man in the lineup.
Now they're faced with the possibility of losing yet another starter.
Nicolas Batum's status for Saturday night is unclear as the Blazers look to get back on track against a Washington Wizards team beginning a four-game road trip.
Portland (31-13) dropped three straight before beating Sacramento on Monday, but it lost Aldridge to a hand injury in that game. He sat out Wednesday's 118-113 loss at Phoenix before finding out Thursday he'll miss six to eight weeks after surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Aldridge is averaging 23.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.
"That was the last thing I wanted to hear," guard Damian Lillard said before scoring 21 points in Thursday's 90-89 home loss to Boston. "It's not like we can stop our schedule until he gets healthy. We just gotta keep on moving forward and try to win games."
The Blazers allowed the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining against the Celtics without Batum on the floor. He left in the second quarter after aggravating a wrist injury that could keep him out for this game.
Portland: Chris Kaman (left leg contusion) is questionable. Nic Batum (right wrist sprain) is doubtful. LaMarcus Aldridge (torn ligament left thumb) is out. Robin Lopez (right hand fracture) is out. Joel Freeland (right shoulder strain) is out.
- Last season, Portland and Washington split the season series, 1-1, with each team winning its home game.
- Portland hasn’t won a season-series against Washington since the 2008-09 season. Since then, Washington has won just one series (2012-13) and there have been four series splits.
- Damian Lillard has scored 20+ points in three of his four career games against the Wizards. Lillard notched a double-double in the most recent matchup between these teams with 23 points and 10 assists (Mar. 20, 2014).
- Steve Blake was originally selected by the Washington Wizards in the second round (38th pick overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft.
- Washington’s Martell Webster was drafted sixth overall by Portland in the 2005 NBA Draft. He played his first five NBA seasons with the Trail Blazers from 2005-10 and averaged 13.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 301 games.
- Andre Miller played two seasons with Portland from 2009-11, averaging 13.3 points and 6.2 assists in 163 games.
In Portland's Last Game
PORTLAND - An evening that started with some very bad injury news got no better as the night went on, as the Celtics forward Evan Turner hit a three-pointer with 1.0 seconds left on the clock to defeat the Trail Blazers 90-89 Thursday night at the Moda Center.
“We had a chance to win the game and we needed one more play and we didn’t make it,” said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. “It was a challenge. I thought everybody played hard, we just didn’t finish it off.”
With the loss, the Trail Blazers are now 31-13 on the season, 19-5 at home and 17-3 against teams from the Eastern Conference. Portland has now lost five in their last six games and had a four-game winning streak versus the Celtics broken.