Blazers prep for Cleveland

Portland meets struggling Cavs Thursday with 10-game streak on line
Staff report

The Portland Trail Blazers are the hottest team in the NBA with a 10-game win streak heading into Thursday's game with Cleveland at the Moda Center.

Portland has surged into third place in the Western Conference standings and is 23-11 at home after being below .500 in that department earlier in the year.

Yet, despite all that success, the Blazers are technically only two games ahead of the Cavaliers, who have made headlines with all their roster struggles throughout the season.

Portland is 41-26, while Cleveland, the Eastern Conference champions the past three seasons and NBA champions two years ago, are 39-28 and a half-game out of third place in the East.

Cleveland scored a 129-107 win at Phoenix Tuesday night with Lebron James going for 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

The Cavaliers are 5-5 in their past 10 games.

Damian Lillard and James enter the game tied for fourth in the league in scoring at 26.9 points per game. Lillard is fifth in the league in 3-pointers with 195, with James Harden of Houston atop the list with 232.

Portland plays host to Detroit on Saturday, then plays at the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.


The Portland the Trail Blazers stayed red hot play Monday night with a 16-point win over the Miami Heat, who put up a valiant fight at the Moda Center.

The Blazers, leading just 93-90 midway through the fourth quarter, beat the Heat 115-99 for their 10th win in a row, the longest active streak in the NBA and Portland's longest since winning 11 straight in November of 2013.

At 41-26, the Blazers are third in the Western Conference standings and have already matched their win total from last season with 15 games remaining.

Lillard, fresh off his Western Conference Player of the Week award, had 32 points (7 of 14 from three-point range), five rebounds and 10 of Portland's 23 assists.

It's Lillard's eighth game of 30 or more in his last 11 outings, and had fans chanting "MVP" for a time.

Portland plays host to Cleveland on Thursday.