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Stotts Coach of Year material?

Blazers coach has award rating on the line this week
Staff report

Has Terry Stotts elevated the Portland Trail Blazers enough to be voted Coach of the Year in 2018? Well, maybe, especially if the Blazers can do something like sweep the next four games and head to the NBA Playoffs on a huge roll.

That's a key part of this week's Sportsland, Oregon podcast featuring Cliff Pfenning and Derek Weber.

The Blazers plays host to Houston - the Western Conference leader - Tuesday, then Boston - the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 team - on Friday. They head to Oklahoma City Sunday and play at New Orleans next Monday.

With the win streak the Blazers vaulted into third place in the Western Conference and first place in the Northwest Division. The conference strength is significant this season as all eight playoff teams are at least nine games above .500. The Blazers have just 12 games to go in the regular season.

Oklahoma City is 43-29 and just two games behind Portland in the race for the division title, while New Orleans is 40-30 and tied for fifth place in the West with Utah. The Pelicans may be a first-round playoff opponent for Portland.

Also, the podcast focuses on the NCAA Tournament, NFL free agency, Timbers and Thorns, Tiger Woods and the start of the 2018 International Roofball Federation schedule.

SPORTSLAND PODCAST

 

 

Ducks keep Eugene buzzing

4CAST: NCAA women, Pac-12 baseball, softball, Hawks, soccer
Staff report

The Oregon women’s basketball team moved to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the second straight year with a 101-73 win over Minnesota Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon will play either Central Michigan or Ohio State, which play today, Saturday with the winner facing either Notre Dame or Texas A&M next Monday in Spokane, Wash.

“I will be shocked if they’re not playing in the Final Four,” Minnesota coach Marlene Stollings said after watching the Ducks put up 30 points in two different quarters Sunday. “They were rolling on all cylinders.”

Sunday’s second-round game matched two of the top-10 scoring offenses in the nation, and the teams combined for 52 points in the first quarter. From there, though, Oregon - leading 30-22 after the first quarter, outscored the Gophers 52-28 in the next two quarters to effectively decide the outcome.

Oregon blew the game open with a 10-0 run to close out the second quarter, capped by a fadeaway three-pointer at the buzzer by Sabrina Ionescu, while she was being fouled.

Ionescu led all scorers with 29 points, while sophomore Ruthy Hebard added 22 for the Ducks - playing in front of a vocal crowd of 7,576 fans.

Oregon made 11 of its 22 3-point attempts.

The Ducks had never been to the Sweet 16 until last season, when they reached the Elite Eight.

2. PAC-12 BASEBALL

Michael Gretler homered in the second inning to spark the top-ranked Oregon State baseball team to a sweep of California Sunday as the Beavers won the series finale, 6-4, in Berkely, Calif.
 
The win pushed Oregon State to 18-1 on the year, matching the 1951, 1962, 2013 and 2017 teams for the best record through 19 games. The victory also sends the Beavers back to Corvallis with a 3-0 conference record; OSU has won 13 consecutive Pac-12 games dating back to the 2016 season.]
 
The sweep marked the Beavers’ third in Berkeley since 2012 after getting swept at Cal in 2016. OSU starts a three-game series with Washington on Friday.
 
In other Pac-12 action, Oregon lost all three games of its series against Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., to drop to 12-7. The Ducks return to Eugene for a three-game series with Cal starting Friday. Oregon is 8-2 at home this season.

3. PAC-12 SOFTBALL

Sixth-ranked Oregon rallied from a loss Friday to beat UCLA Saturday and Sunday and is 25-5 heading for a weekend off before a three-game series with rival Oregon State March 29-31 in Corvallis.

Oregon State recovered from a 12-0 loss Saturday to beat Cal 8-3 Sunday and earn a 2-1 series win in Corvallis. Oregon State won the first game of the series 10-5 Friday and is 19-10 heading into a three-game series at UCLA Friday.

4. WINTERHAWKS HEAD FOR PLAYOFFS

The 72-game regular season came to a close with a 5-4 loss to Spokane Sunday for the Portland Winterhawks, but the season begins anew Saturday. Portland, which finished the regular season at 44-22-1-5 for 94 points, plays the Chiefs in a seven-game series with the first two games in Portland Saturday and Sunday.

EXTENDED 4CAST

The Portland Thorns and Portland Timbers return to the pitch Saturday with league matches. The Thorns, who drew with Houston 0-0 Saturday at Merlo Field, open NWSL play at North Carolina Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Portland won its second NWSL title last season.

The Timbers, 0-2 in MLS action, play at Houston Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Portland has scored just once in its two games, and is looking for its first win under new coah Giovanni Savarese.

Blazers handle Cleveland/Lebron, 113-105

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Portland holds off rally, wins for the 11th straight game
Staff report

PORTLAND - First Golden State. Now, Cleveland.

Last year's NBA Finals teams have both lost in Portland within the last week, as the Trail Blazers continue to make themselves a player in the discussion of what teams are most likely to contend for the league title.

Portland built a 15-point lead, had it dwindle to three inside three minutes left, then pulled off a 113-105 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night at the Moda Center.

C.J. McCollum had 29 points and Damian Lillard had 24 points and nine assists. Lillard made all nine of his free-throw attempts.

LeBron James led the Cavs with 35 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, but missed a layup with 32 seconds to go when the Cavs were down by five.

The Cavs have now lost their last five games in Portland.

Portland improved to 42-26 overall.

Cleveland fell to 39-29.

McCollum made consecutive 3-pointers and Lillard made another that gave Portland an 81-66 lead midway through the third quarter. But, the Cavs got to 105-102 with 2:58 left, but managed just four shots the remainder of the game - making one 3-pointer.

 

Thorns, U.S. Nationals smile after meeting

Portland, US both score twice in entertaining preseason match-up
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

Midway into the first half Wednesday, Morgan Weaver of the U.S. National U-23 team was warming up near her teams' bench when a fan walked over to her.

"You know it's okay to smile," the fan said. "We're happy you're here."

Weaver got onto the field a short time later and had an assist in the second half as the U.S. team rallied for a 2-2 tie with the host Portland Thorns at Merlo Field.

Ifeoma Onumonu and Mallory Weber scored for the Thorns, who spent most of the match defending against a solid attack from their younger peers, who found a way past Portland starter Adrianna French twice.

Portland, which lost the first of its three preseason matches Saturday against Chicago, plays host to Houston Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in its final match to ready for the NWSL season that begins March 24.

The Thorns, last season's league champions, play two games on the road before returning to Providence Park for their home opener April 15.

Portland's scores were off a counterattack, and a corner kick. Ifeoma Onumonu took a full-speed pass from Lindsay Horan midway into the first half and booted it past U.S. goalie Bella Geist, and then Mallory Weber headed home a corner from Meghan Klingenberg in the 33rd minute to double the lead.

The U.S. players controlled the ball, unofficially, for more then half of the 45 minutes and managed five shots, one of which caused French to make a solid save.

The nationals continued their attack in the second half and found the net in the 58th and 90th minute with both goals by Catarina Macario. The first was unassisted, while Weaver has an assist on the second.

Portland played its full complement of 21 players, subbing more than half in the second 45 minutes.

Regular starters Christine Sinclair, Emily Sonnett and Horan returned from international duty to start for the Thorns for the first time.

 

Blazers prep for Cleveland

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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.

PORTLAND 115, MIAMI 99

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.

 

Oregon men shoot to second round

4CAST: Ducks, Oregon women, Oregon State women, Thorns
Staff report

The fourth quarter was the perfect time for the Oregon men's basketball team to establish themselves in the opening round of the National Invitational Tournament Tuesday night.

Down 44-36 at halftime, the Ducks (23-12) made 20-of-26 shots from the field in the second half, including their first 10 shots of the fourth quarter, to beat Rider 99-86 before 2,327 fans at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon outscored their opponents from New Jersey 38-21 in the fourth quarter of the game, which uses four quarters rather than the two halves college men's team are familiar with from their NCAA seasons.

Victory Bailey, Jr., made an incredible 7-of-8 3-point shots and finished with 23 points, a total matched by Payton Pritchare for the Ducks.

Oregon outrebounded Rider 38-31 and finished with a 27-19 edge in free throws.

The Ducks will play the winner of tonight's Harvard at Marquette game.

2. OREGON WOMEN

The Ducks play host to a four-team sub-regional that begins Friday, with the winner advancing to the region finals in Spokane, Wash. Oregon plays Seattle University Friday, following the Minnesota-Wisconsin Green Bay contest. The winners meet Sunday. Four teams will play in Spokane with the winner moving forward to the Final Four in Columbus, Ohio, March 30.

Notre Dame is the top seed in the Spokane regional, with Oregon seeded No. 2.

Connecticut is seeded No. 1 in the Albany, N.Y., region, with Mississippi State seeded No. 1 in the Kansas City region.

3. OREGON STATE WOMEN

The Beavers play in Knoxville, Tenn., in a four-team sub-regional that begins Friday, with the winner advancing to the Lexington, Ky., Region final. Oregon State, the sixth seed, plays Western Kentucky Friday, with Tennesee, the third seed and sub-region host, playing Liberty in the other game. The winners meet Sunday.

Four teams will play in Lexington regional with the winner moving forward to the Final Four in Columbus, Ohio, March 30. Louisville and Baylor are seeded 1, 2, in the region.

4. PORTLAND THORNS PRESEASON

The Portland Thorns play again today and Saturday Merlo Field in preparation for the start of the season, March 24. Wednesday's game is against the U.S. National Under-23 squad beginning at 7:30. Saturday's game is against the Houston Dash also beginning at 7:30

ALSO

The Portland State men's basketball team will play at San Diego Saturday in the second round of the Collegeinsider.com Tournament. Match-ups for the following round - quarterfinals, will be established following this weekend's games. All games will be played on campus sites.

The Portland Winterhawks play again Friday against Seattle at the Moda Center.

 

 

 

Timbers back to business

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4CAST: MLS, Prep Hoop, Western Oregon, Winterhawks
Staff report

The Portland Timbers return to MLS action at 1 p.m. today against the New York Red Bulls, playing on the road again as part of their five-week road trip to start the season.

Portland will be looking to bounce back from a 2-1 loss at the Los Angeles Galaxy last week against a team it beat 4-1 in the final week of preseason in Arizona.

The Timbers will also be aiming to give new coach Giovanni Savarese his first win.

2. PREP HOOP

The high school basketball season comes to an end today with title games for Class 6A and 4A boys and girls. Portland is buzzing after the girls team from Benson advanced to the title game - the first PIL team to go that far in 27 years - on a last-second lay-up for a one-point win over Beaverton Friday afternoon. The seventh-ranked Techsters meet top-ranked and defending champion Southridge at 3:15 p.m. in the title game at the Chiles Center, what observers are calling the U.S. vs. Russia in the 1980 Winter Olympics Gold Medal final for men's hockey at Lake Placid, N.Y.

On the boys side, No. 1 Jefferson meets No. 2 Grant at 8:30 p.m. in a game likely to fill the gym. Jefferson cruised past upstart Barlow Friday, while Grant battled through PIL rival Lincoln in its semifinal. Jefferson is the defending state champion, and has not lost to Grant in more than three years - this being the fourth time the teams will have met this season with all games decided by five points or less.

In the Class 4A finals at Forest Grove High School,No. 1 Marshfield will be looking to win its first girls title when it plays No. 3 Cascade at 3:15 p.m. In the boys final, Cowapa League rivals Seaside and Valley Catholic meet in the final at 8: 30 p.m. in a rematch of last year's final won by Seaside. Valley Catholic won the Class 3A title four years ago before moving up to 4A.

In Class 5A Friday, Thurston won its first boys title, while Marist won the girls title at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

3. WESTERN OREGON BASKETBALL

The Wolves' men's team beat Point Loma, Calif., 73-66 Friday, and will play GNAC rival St. Martin's today at 7:30 p.m. in the NCAA Div. II West Regional in its home gym in Monmouth. WOU improved to 30-1 and has a 23-game win streak going.

4. WINTERHAWKS REUNION

The Hawks play host to the Tri-City Americans at 6 p.m. Saturday and will honor the '98 Memorial Cup champions squad with a Hall of Fame induction for five of the key members: Marian Hossa, Andrew Ference, Brendan Morrow, Todd Robinson and Marty Standish, who plan to attend. The Hawks play host to Everett Sunday at 5 p.m.

ALSO: Umpqua Community College's unbeaten women's basketball team advanced to the NWAC Final Four with a pair of wins at the conference tournament in Everett, Wash., Thursday and Friday. The men's portion of the 16-team tournament begins today in Everett.

 

Blazers stay smokin' hot

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Portland throttles Golden State for ninth-straight win
Staff report

Portland officially became the hottest team in the NBA Friday night by beating Golden State on the same night Houston and New Orleans lost to end their win streaks.

C.J. McCollum scored 30 points and Damian Lillard had 29 as the Blazers won 125-108 over the defending NBA champions, who played without Steph Curry.

Curry injured his right ankle Tuesday.

Portland has now won nine-straight games, its longest win streak since 2014 when it also won nine straight. The Blazers play host to Miami, 35-31, which is tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

The Blazers' streak has moved them into third place in the West, 1.5 games ahead of New Orleans, which had won 10 straight.

 

Ducks, Beavers survive tournament openers

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4CAST THURSDAY: Pac-12 men, Big Sky, Blazers, Hawks
Staff report

A week after getting beat on the road in Pullman, Wash., Oregon rallied from behind to beat Washington State 64-62 in overtime of the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference men's basketball tournament in Las Vegas Wednesday.

Payton Pritchard and Mikyle McIntosh scored 18 points each for Oregon, which overcame an 8-for-18 performance at the free-throw line with a 41-31 edge in rebounds. The Cougars missed a lay-up at the close of overtime that would have forced a second overtime.

Oregon trailed by 11 early in the second half, but advanced to play Utah at 8:30 p.m. today.

Oregon State also advanced and will play USC at 6 today after its 69-66 win in overtime over Washington Wednesday.

The Beavers had three players in double figures led by Drew Eubanks with 19, and got 32 free throws, making 20. The Beavers scored their final six points on free throws.

2. VIKINGS ADVANCE TO SEMIS

The Portland State women's basketball team beat Eastern Washington 82-73 Wednesday and will play in the Big Sky Conference tournament semifinals for the second-consecutive year Friday.

PSU, 19-12, got 20 points each from juniors Ashley Bolson and Sydney Reilly and scored 21 points off turnovers in the win. They Vikings will play Idaho Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Reno, Nev., Events Center.

The PSU men's team, 20-12, plays Eastern Washington tonight in the quarterfinals at 8:05 p.m.

3. BLAZERS PREP FOR GS

Portland will take its eight-game win streak into a home game with Golden State Friday. Portland's win streak moved it into third place in the Western Conference, while the defending NBA champions have slid to second even though it has a six-game win streak going.

Houston moved ahead of the Warriors in the West on the strength of its 16-game win streak.

Portland's win streak is still just the third-longest in the West as New Orleans has won 10 straight and is just a half-game behind the Blazers in fourth.

4. HAWKS WIN, ADD STANDISH FOR REUNION

Portland moved its win streak to four straight with a 7-1 win at Everett, Wash., Wednesday night. Skyler McKenzie scored a hat-trick for the Hawks.

The Hawks added Marty Standish for the reunion of the 1998 Memorial Cup champions Saturday. The will honor the '98 squad with a Hall of Fame induction for four of the key members: Marian Hossa, Andrew Ference, Brendan Morrow and Todd Robinson, who plan to attend.

LONG-TERM FORECAST

The Portland Timbers continue the early part of their season in New York Saturday, with three more road games before their home opener, April 14, at Providence Park.

The Portland Thorns open their sixth season in the National Women's Soccer League March 15 in North Carolina, and begin play at home April 15.

Lillard, Blazers on fire; GS next

WEDNESDAY 4CAST: NBA, Pac-12 men, Hawks Reunion, Timbers/Thorns
Staff report

Another 30+ performance by Damian Lillard, and fabulous team defense carried the Portland Trail Blazers to their eighth-straight win Tuesday night, 111-87, over the New York Knicks at the Moda Center.

Lillard went off for 37 points, a night after scoring 39 in a comeback win over the Lakers, and had Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek talking about post-season honors.

"The guy is playing fantastic," Hornacek told reporters. "He might be one of those guys you've got to start talking about that MVP too with the way he's playing."

Lillard is averaging a career-best 26.8 points per game this season.

"I said after I won Rookie of the Year, I said I think I can be MVP in this league," Lillard said. "Being in the discussion, it's an honor to be mentioned, but I don't look at that and think `Oh they mentioned me in the MVP discussion.' I feel that's the level of player I can be."

Portland improved to 39-26 with a home game against Golden State on tap for Friday.

2. PAC-12 MEN'S TOURNAMENT

Oregon and Oregon State get into action in the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament in Las Vegas today with game in the evening.

Oregon State, the 10th seed, plays seventh seed Washington at 6 p.m., while Oregon, the sixth seed, plays 11th seeded Washington State at 8:30 p.m. Both games are available on the Pac-12 Network.

Also, Oregon sophomore Payton Pritchard was named to the all-conference second team, and freshman Kenny Wooten was named all-conference first team for defense.

3. HAWKS WIN, ADD STANDISH FOR REUNION

Portland's Ty Kolle scored with just over three minutes left to lift the Winterhawks to a 4-3 win at Prince George, B.C., Tuesday night. The Hawks play at Everett, Wash., tonight, then return for home games Saturday and Sunday.

The Hawks added Marty Standish for the reunion of the 1998 Memorial Cup champions Saturday. The will honor the '98 squad with a Hall of Fame induction for four of the key members: Marian Hossa, Andrew Ference, Brendan Morrow and Todd Robinson, who plan to attend.

4. TIMBERS/THORNS EYE HOME OPENERS

The Portland Timbers continue the early part of their season in New York Saturday, with three more road games before their home opener, April 14, at Providence Park.

The Portland Thorns open their sixth season in the National Women's Soccer League March 15 in North Carolina, and begin play at home April 15.

 

 

 

 

 

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