NBA Basketball: Portland Trailblazers at Seattle Sonics - Sonics Favored
59% of Bets Placed on Seattle -6 | Matchup | NBA Picks
Losing close games is the mark of a young team learning to succeed. It's no surprise then that the Portland Trail Blazers - with five players 22 years or younger - have lost twice by two points or fewer and two others in overtime this month.
The Blazers look to bounce back from another close loss when they visit the Seattle SuperSonics in a matchup of the bottom two teams in the Northwest Division.
Portland (24-33) blew a fourth-quarter lead to fall 103-102 to Memphis on Friday. With the Blazers trailing by two with 0.8 seconds left in the game, Ime Udoka sank the first of two free throws, but failed to force overtime when his second shot bounced off the rim.
The Blazers, though, wouldn't have needed those free throws if they closed out the lowly Grizzlies. After taking a six-point lead early in the fourth, Portland was held scoreless for almost six minutes while surrendering 14 straight points. The Blazers also missed four of their last five field goal attempts, and shot just 31.8 percent in the fourth.
"You've got to make plays when given those chances down the stretch," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "We just didn't execute very well when we had the game under control."
Zach Randolph had 25 points Saturday, his 18th straight game in double figures. He is averaging 24.6 points and 8.9 rebounds over his last eight games.
Brandon Roy added 19 points and six assists against Memphis as he continues to make his case for rookie of the year honors. Roy leads all rookies with 15.8 points and 3.7 assists per game.
While Portland is reeling from another last-second loss, the Sonics will try to bounce back from their largest margin of defeat this season. Seattle (21-34) fell 102-71 to San Antonio on Saturday in the second of back-to-back road games. The Sonics trailed by as many as 36 as they set a season-low for points in a game.
"I think there was a breaking point in tonight's game where we were so tired from last night that it just wasn't going to happen," coach Bob Hill said.
After scoring 32 in Friday's 98-97 loss in New Orleans, Seattle's Ray Allen had only 12 points on 4-of-20 shooting. Rashard Lewis added 10, his sixth straight game in double-figures since coming back from a hand injury that kept him sidelined for 22 games.
Lewis is averaging a career-high 21.5 points this season.
The Sonics had tied a season high with three straight wins before losing back-to-back games.
Seattle has won two in a row at home and six of its last eight games against Portland, winning by an average of nearly 14 points per game.
Portland, though, has won two of its last three in Seattle, including a 110-106 victory in this year's season opener for both teams. Randolph had 30 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Blazers, who have more road wins (11) than any other non-playoff team in the Western Conference.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com
- NBA Basketball teams
- NBA Basketball standings
- NBA Basketball schedule
- NBA Basketball scoreboard
- NBA Basketball injuries
- NBA Basketball matchups
- NBA Basketball stats
- NBA Basketball odds
- NBA Basketball public betting chart
- NBA Basketball news wire
- NBA Basketball top stories
- NBA Basketball trends
- AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
- Expert NBA Basketball picks
- Comments and discussion
- Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
- NBA Basketball Home