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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers NBA Preview & Free Pick

NBA Basketball Matchup: Clippers vs Trailblazers

The Portland Trail Blazers will be playing their final game of three consecutive games in three nights, aiming to end their three-game home losing streak, returning from Golden State to host the Los Angeles Clippers for the second time this season at the Rose Garden on Thursday night.

Date/Time: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, February 16, 2012
Venue: The Rose Garden in Portland, OR.
Broadcast:
Spread: OFF
Over/Under: OFF

Matchup | Preview  

LA returned home on Wednesday to take on the Wizards on the tail end of going 4-2 on a six-game trip which they should have swept.

The Clippers’ 17-9 start is their second best through 26 games in franchise history. The team started 18-8 in 1974-75 when it was based in Buffalo.

As for Portland, it lost its third in a row at home, 125-109 to Washington, and also lost power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who sprained his left knee just two minutes into the game. X-rays were negative, but he did not return and did not make the trip to Golden State on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Batum scored 33, tying a career high, and started in place of Wesley Matthews, who was 3 of 10 in a 97-94 double-overtime loss to Dallas on Saturday

Blazers guard Raymond Felton, who shot 4 of 17 against Dallas, was 2 of 5 for four points vs. Washington. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

The last time Portland lost three in a row at home was between March 29 and April 6, 2008, but after splitting the first two meetings with the Clippers this season, including a 93-88 loss at home just four games into the 2011 campaign, they will need to buckle down in this one.

They will need to do a better job at containing Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin, who went off for 20 points and 10 rebounds in game one, while repeating their shooting performance that saw the Blazers shoot an eye-popping 51.4 percent, led by Gerald Wallace who put up 20 points, in a 105-97 win in the second meeting.

Wallace bounced back after being held scoreless in a Jan. 1 road loss to the Clippers.

Free Pick: Portland 96 , Los Angeles 90 —Both teams will be tired from their Wednesday night contests, and I expect Portland to hold a slight edge with the support of the home crowd.

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