Portland (10-22) at New Orleans (14-17)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oklahoma City, OK
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Fri Jan 6, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Looking to avoid a winless three-game road trip before opening their longest homestand of the season, the struggling Portland Trail Blazers take on the New Orleans Hornets in Oklahoma City.

Portland dropped to 4-13 on the road with a 106-75 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday night. The defeat was Portland’s fourth straight overall and second in a row on its trip, following a 95-81 defeat to Dallas on Tuesday.

The Blazers, only slightly better at home than on the road at 6-9, play eight consecutive games at the Rose Garden starting Sunday. They don’t have another road game until Jan. 28.

Portland will try to put together a much better effort Friday night and during the homestand than it had in Wednesday’s blowout loss. Zach Randolph, the Blazers’ leading scorer and rebounder, was held to five points on 1-for-14 shooting, with just four rebounds.

“My head hurts,” said Randolph, averaging 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. “I shouldn’t have played tonight. I didn’t feel good.”

Randolph’s point total was his lowest since becoming a full-time starter before the 2003-04 season. New Orleans held the fifth-year forward to four points last season, but Randolph didn’t start that game and played only 19 minutes.

With Randolph struggling, nobody else stepped up to fill the void against the Spurs. The Blazers were outrebounded 57-30 and held to their lowest offensive output since an 84-74 loss to Minnesota on Dec. 7.

“When it’s difficult for us to score, we just can’t dig down and scrap,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “We need to learn that when things are going bad, that’s when we need to come together.”

Rookie reserve guard Jarrett Jack tied his career high with 15 points to lead the Blazers.

New Orleans overcame a triple-double by Miami’s Dwyane Wade to beat the Heat 107-92 at home Wednesday night, giving Hornets coach Byron Scott his sixth straight win against his mentor, Miami coach Pat Riley.

“I don’t know what our record is going against him. I know in Jersey my second and third years, we had a good team,” Scott said. “But that doesn’t matter. He’s still a great coach.”

The Hornets recorded a season high in points and scored 16 of those on the fast break. It was the second consecutive game New Orleans topped the 100-point mark after being held below it in their previous seven games.

“We play with a lot of confidence right now,” said forward David West, who scored 20 points. “We rely on our legs, we get out on the break and try to run teams.”

New Orleans will be looking for its season-high third straight win as it wraps up a four-game homestand.

“We have to win at least three,” Scott said. “We can’t go 2-2. I don’t want to have a letdown on Friday.”

The Hornets had lost 10 of 14 before beating Charlotte on Monday and Miami on Wednesday.

Related Articles

Team Stat Leaders