Their road trip was a major success, but the Portland Trail Blazers weren’t satisfied with how it ended.
Back home for seven of their next nine games, the Trail Blazers look to rebound from their first loss in seven games Wednesday night when they face a Detroit Pistons team trying to avoid its first three-game losing streak of the season.
Portland (8-4) returns to the Rose Garden following a 4-1 trip that ended with Monday’s 99-95 overtime loss to Atlanta. The Trail Blazers led by 12 in the third quarter and nine heading into the fourth, but they could not close out their seventh straight victory.
“It’s disappointing because we had a big lead and we didn’t do a good job of taking care of the ball and defending,” said two-time All-Star Brandon Roy(notes), who averaged 18.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists on the trip. “But they beat us up on the inside and dominated the paint.”
Despite the disheartening finish, Portland held its opponents to 82.8 points and 39.6 percent shooting on the seven-day trip. The Trail Blazers lead the NBA in both categories - limiting teams to 88.1 points and 41.2 percent from the field.
Since a 111-107 loss in Houston on Oct. 31, Portland has held nine straight opponents to fewer than 100 points.
However, not all news is good for the Trail Blazers. Forward Travis Outlaw(notes), who is averaging 9.9 points off the bench, will have surgery Wednesday to fix a stress fracture in his left foot and is out indefinitely.
In Detroit’s last visit to Portland, Outlaw hit a fadeaway jumper with 8.9 seconds remaining to help the Blazers snap the Pistons’ seven-game winning streak with an 84-83 victory on Jan. 7.
While Prince said he would start some light jogging soon, he watched in street clothes from the bench as the Pistons (5-6) opened their four-game western trip with a 106-93 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
“They were the aggressor, and we were reacting to everything they were doing,” Pistons center Ben Wallace(notes) said. “We were a step behind them for the entire game. (Our) second group came in and played the way that we should have been playing all along. They made the game close, so we have to take a cue from our second unit and play hard from the start.”
After scoring a season-high 27 points in Sunday’s 95-90 loss to Dallas, Will Bynum(notes) led Detroit with 24 points and six assists Tuesday. He has scored 20 or more in a career-best three straight games.
First-year Piston Ben Gordon(notes) rebounded from a season-worst five-point outing against the Mavericks and scored 18 on Tuesday. Gordon averaged 14.0 points against Portland in 2008-09, while with Chicago.
Detroit hosts Portland on Jan. 23.