Sports

Blazers begin road trip in Toronto

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers begin a tough five-game road trip Sunday night when they travel north of the border to take on the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

The Blazers will also visit the Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies on this sojourn.

Portland has won two straight and seven of its last eight. The Blazers are third in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies and one game ahead of the Houston Rockets.

On Friday, the Blazers hardly broke a sweat in a 118-99 rout of the Detroit Pistons at the Moda Center.

Damian Lillard had 28 points and nine assists, and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 to lead Portland. Arron Afflalo and Meyers Leonard each had 15 points, and Chris Kaman scored 14 for the Trail Blazers, who won for the fifth time in six games.

"How we played better defensively it could have been one of our best games of the year," Lillard said. "We moved the ball really well, we set screens and made the extra pass."

Portland went 11-of-19 from the field in the second and increased its advantage to 64-46 at halftime. The cushion reached as high as 21 in the third and was at 95-78 going to the fourth.

The Pistons never threatened over the final 12 minutes as they lost for the fifth straight time against the Trail Blazers.

The Raptors broke a four-game losing streak and a 16-game slide to the Miami Heat with a 102-92 home win on Friday night. All is still not well for Toronto, which has dropped nine of its previous 11 to fall behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for third in the Eastern Conference.

Kyle Lowry's 19 points, eight assists and seven steals enabled the Raptors to finally get a win over the Heat.

DeMar DeRozan added 18 points and Lou Williams contributed 14 off the bench in Toronto's first victory over the Heat since Jan. 27, 2010, when Miami star Chris Bosh's was in his final season as a member of the Raptors.

"We played well...on both ends of the floor," Williams said.

Toronto entered the fourth owning a comfortable 78-63 advantage, with Miami aiding its opponents cause by committing nine third-quarter turnovers. The margin was 21 points early in the final frame when Williams was fouled while shooting from beyond the arc and made all three free throws for an 84-63 lead.

The Heat staged a little rally to make the final outcome closer.

Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas missed the game to attend the birth of his son. He's expected to be back on Sunday.

The Blazers have won three in a row and 11 of the last 12 encounters with the Raptors. Portland is 5-1 in its last six in Toronto.