Portland (8-8) at Philadelphia (4-13)

By KATE HEDLIN, STATS Writer Monday, Nov 29, 2010 Tipoff: 7:00 pm EST Tue Nov 30, 2010

Brandon Roy’s(notes) return hasn’t solved the Portland Trail Blazers’ shooting struggles.

The Blazers look to avoid losing four straight for the first time in over two years when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.

Despite dealing with several key injuries, Portland managed to stay above .500 until a 98-96 loss to New Jersey on Sunday dropped it to 8-8. The Blazers, who have lost five of seven, opened a four-game road trip.

Roy, who missed three games earlier this month with a knee injury, had 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting after scoring 27 and going 10 of 20 from the field in a 97-78 loss to New Orleans on Friday.

While Roy doesn’t seem rusty, the rest of the team combined to shoot 38.7 percent Sunday. Portland is one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA at 44.3 percent and has shot 39.9 percent over the last four games.

“We don’t feel like we’re an 8-8 team,” said guard Wesley Matthews(notes), who scored 25 points, making five of six 3-pointers. “In the NBA, you play a lot of games in a short amount of time and you have to be able to get through this and move on.”

A lack of an inside presence is part of the problem. Besides missing Greg Oden(notes) (knee) and Joel Przybilla(notes) (flu) on Sunday, the Blazers were also without Sean Marks(notes), who rolled his ankle Friday. Without three of their big men, they tied a season low with 28 points in the paint, a mark they originally set Friday.

Before those two games, Portland was averaging 41.6 points in the paint.

The Blazers will try to bounce back Tuesday and avoid their first four-game losing streak since a five-game slide March 27-April 6, 2008. However, while Philadelphia (4-13) has the worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Sixers have won their last two at home and are coming off a 102-86 win over the Nets on Saturday.

The victory came after they went winless on a three-game road trip. Thaddeus Young(notes) scored seven points during a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter to help Philadelphia take control, and the Sixers outscored the Nets 36-20 in the final period.

Young finished with 13 points while Jrue Holiday(notes) had 20 points and 13 assists. Holiday is averaging a career-high 13.9 points and a team-high 7.4 assists in his second season.

“Our ace of spades tonight was Jrue Holiday,” coach Doug Collins said. “He is growing every day, I can just see it.”

Collins also liked what he saw from Andre Iguodala(notes), who is averaging 19.0 points and 8.8 rebounds the last four games after missing five of the previous six with a strained Achilles’ tendon.

“He’s like a new man,” Collins said. “When he plays with that kind of juice he makes us a team that we feel can compete with a lot of different people.”

Iguodala is averaging 24.5 points in his last eight games against Portland.

These teams split two meetings last season with each winning on the road. Portland has won seven of its last 11 visits to Philadelphia.

Related Articles

Team Stat Leaders



Tuesday, Nov 30