Published January 13, 2015
The Charlotte Bobcats have lost six in a row and things don't expect to get any easier Monday night when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Bobcats are 0-3 on their four-game western road trip, and mercifully, the trek ends on Monday. Not only are the Bobcats winless on this sojourn, they haven't been competitive.
The Bobcats have lost these three games by an average of 29.3 points and it's getting progressively worse. Charlotte dropped the opener of the trip to the Los Angeles Clippers by 22, then 30 in Utah and on Sunday, fell to the Sacramento Kings by 36.
Against the Kings, the score was tied after the first quarter, then the Kings took a 14-point lead into the half. The third quarter was a disaster for the Bobcats, who dropped the frame, 43-19.
Charlotte trailed by as many as 43 points in the final quarter before the horn sounded.
"It was ugly," Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts said. "You don't come into the game wanting that to happen."
The Blazers are playing decent basketball after a horrible run of seven straight losses. They've won two of their last three with home victories sandwiched around a home loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Portland toppled the Minnesota Timberwolves, 109-94, on Saturday. The Blazers jumped out to a 12-point first-quarter lead and never really relented.
Six Blazers scored in double figures, including Meyers Leonard and Victor Claver off the bench. That was pretty impressive considering the Portland bench is worst in the league at 16.8 ppg, which is almost 10 points less than the 29th-best Indiana Pacers.
Portland acquired some reserve help at the trade deadline in the form of Eric Maynor, formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played 31 minutes against the Wolves and only managed seven points, but handed out 12 assists.
Maynor was brought in to help Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard. The first-year guard is tied for fifth in the NBA in minutes played, but Portland's coach has a slightly different plan.
"I like the way Eric and Damian play together but at the same time I've to make sure I'm still resting Damian so I can't overuse that lineup," said Terry Stotts.
The Trail Blazers have won the last two meetings with Charlotte and the Bobcats last victory in the Rose City came on Mar. 29, 2008, a span of four games.