Though the Trail Blazers (18-26) have won four of their last five at home to climb within a game of .500 at the Rose Garden, their recent play on the road continues to hinder their overall progress. Portland failed to earn a third consecutive win Friday when it fell 99-69 at Houston, its fourth straight loss away from home, where it is 7-14.
Portland, which was held to a season low in points, shot a season-worst 36.1 percent and was outrebounded 47-32 in suffering its sixth loss in its last seven road games.
Zach Randolph, who averages 23.3 points and 10.2 rebounds, was held to 13 and six, respectively, ending his run at four straight games with a double-double. He was the only Portland player in double figures.
Rookie Brandon Roy, who is averaging 14.3 points in just 24 games after missing time with a heel injury, was held to six.
Portland trailed by two at halftime, but couldn’t contain Houston star Tracy McGrady, who scored 17 of his 28 points in the third quarter when the Trail Blazers were outscored 32-14.
“McGrady did what All-Stars seem to do,” said Portland coach Nate McMillan. “We were in his face, but he still kept hitting them. That really just took the wind out of us.”
One of Portland’s most recent road wins came at Memphis, 85-79 on Dec. 13. It capped a season-high three consecutive wins on the road before its current slide. Randolph had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the first meeting.
Memphis (11-33), which owns the NBA’s worst record, returns home after going 1-3 on a road trip that concluded with a 112-96 loss at San Antonio on Friday.
It’s unsure whether star Pau Gasol, who is averaging 19.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in 21 games, will be available Saturday after missing Friday’s game with a strained left hamstring. It was the first game he’s been out since missing the first 22 after undergoing foot surgery.
Hakim Warrick made his first start since Dec. 15 and scored 27 points on 11-for-15 shooting. The Grizzlies came back from a 15-point deficit to lead early in the fourth quarter before San Antonio went on a 19-3 run.
“Our intensity level just didn’t stay constant,” Memphis’ Eddie Jones said. “Playing a great team like San Antonio, we’ve got to stay with a consistent effort.”
Memphis was 11-for-19 from 3-point range, and is 27-for-45 (60.0 percent) from beyond the arc in its last two games.
“I am coming away from this one with nothing but positives,” Grizzlies coach Tony Barone said. “We battled one of the best teams in the league. … To beat a team like this we still have to grow as a team.”