Still looking for their first win since last week’s coaching change, the Portland Trail Blazers will try to avoid getting swept by the Memphis Grizzlies for the first time in franchise history when the teams meet at the Rose Garden.
The Trail Blazers are 0-4 since Kevin Pritchard replaced fired coach Maurice Cheeks on an interim basis on March 2.
Portland has lost six straight and 11 of 13 overall, including a 97-84 home defeat to Chicago on Wednesday.
Telfair, who made the jump from high school to the NBA, is averaging 12 points and 6.5 assists over his last four games. He is averaging 4.7 points and 2.0 assists overall.
“I think Sebastian Telfair is maturing at a point guard,” Pritchard said. “He still made mistakes but he played 36 minutes and is understanding better each game what to expect in this league.”
The Blazers dropped the first two meetings with the Grizzlies, including an 88-82 setback at Memphis on Feb. 11.
In danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight year, Portland is 9 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West with 23 to play.
The Blazers had made 21 consecutive playoff appearances before the streak ended last season. The run was the second-longest in NBA history, one shy of the record set by the Syracuse/Philadelphia franchise from 1950-71.
Sitting in seventh place in the West, the Grizzlies have thrived since Mike Fratello replaced retired coach Hubie Brown on Dec. 3, going 30-15, including a 94-82 win at Utah on Friday, their fifth win in their last six games.
Mike Miller scored 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting for Memphis, which shot 52 percent (10-of-19) from 3-point range.
“We had some hot shooters. Right now, we’re banged up so we’re trying to find a way. We find something that works and we keep going to it,” Shane Battier said.
Miller is averaging 13.5 points and shooting 58 percent (11-for-19) against the Trail Blazers this season.
Memphis is only 5-13 all-time at Portland.