Sports

Blazers vie to regroup versus Wizards

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers haven't been their dominant selves lately and look to regroup Saturday versus the Washington Wizards.

The Trail Blazers must move on without star big man LaMarcus Aldridge for the next six-to-eight weeks because of a thumb injury and have lost two straight and five of their last six games.

Portland was edged by the Boston Celtics, 90-89, on Thursday thanks to a game- winning 3-pointer by Evan Turner with one second remaining. Jared Sullinger missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer before tracking down the rebound following a scramble and calling a timeout with 8.5 seconds to play. Sullinger then got the ball at the right elbow, but Wesley Matthews poked it away.

Sullinger retrieved the ball in the paint and from a sitting position, found a wide open Turner in the right corner and he knocked down the trey to put the Celtics in front.

Portland was unable to get off another shot at the other end.

Damian Lillard scored 21 points and handed out seven assists, while Matthews recorded 18 points and made 4-of-8 3-pointers. Chris Kaman posted 13 points and nine rebounds, and will see more action with Aldridge out.

"It is what it is and we have to move on," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "He's going to miss some games and we're going to have to hold down the fort while he's gone."

The Blazers, who have a 17-3 record against the East and a 3-3 mark without Aldridge this season, are 19-5 at home and will start a four-game road trip Monday against Brooklyn, Cleveland, Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Blazers defensive stopper Nicolas Batum (wrist) and Kaman (leg) are questionable Saturday.

Washington will be on the west coast over the next four games and is scheduled to visit Denver, LA Lakers and Phoenix on the sojourn.

The Wizards are coming off Wednesday's 105-103 overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, as Russell Westbrook's running layup sent the hosts to the loss column. John Wall's desperation heave at the other end was off the mark.

Nene had a season-high 24 points in the loss and Wall recorded 18 points with 13 assists, six rebounds and four steals. Paul Pierce and Bradley Beal each scored 14 points for the Wizards, who entered the game winners in seven of the previous nine games and were outscored, 13-11, in overtime.

"We made crucial plays, they made crucial plays," Pierce said. "We did all the things that is usually a recipe of winning for us, but unfortunately down the stretch we didn't get the win."

The Wizards made only seven of their season-high 30 3-pointers and shot 38 percent for the game. They grabbed 58 boards and fell to 9-6 against Western Conference teams.

Washington is 8-0 on the road when holding teams under 100 points and hopes that will continue tonight in Portland. Wall averaged 23.0 points in two games against the Blazers last season.

The Wizards and Blazers will meet again on March 16 in DC and split a pair of matchups in 2013-14. Washington is 4-2 in the last six games in this series.