Preview: Wolves at Portland

  • Updated: November 22, 2012 - 7:54 PM

Preview: The Blazers are 5-6 after their three-game winning streak ended with Wednesday's 114-87 blowout loss at Phoenix. They are 3-3 at home but have beaten Houston in overtime and Chicago the past two times out at the Rose Garden. ...The Wolves' 120-112 victory at Portland with both Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio healthy last March ended a 16-game losing streak to the Blazers dating to 2007 and was their first at the Rose Garden since Dec. 2005. The Wolves took the three-game season series a year ago, winning the first two and then losing an April game in Portland without either Rubio or Nikola Pekovic.

Players to watch: Friday's game was supposed to be Brandon Roy's big return to Portland. That won't happen now, so the storyline to watch is Blazers forward Nicolas Batum first game against a Wolves team that signed him last summer to a $44 million free-agent offer sheet that Portland matched. Batum is averaging a career-high 20.1 points per game and is playing like he deserves all that money. ... Blazers PG Damien Lillard very well could beat out New Orleans' Anthony Davis for Rookie of the Year. He leads all rookies in scoring (19.5), assists (5.8) , steals (1.45) and minutes played (37.3).

Injuries: The list just got a lot shorter for the Wolves, but G Brandon Roy, G Ricky Rubio and G Chase Budinger (all knee surgeries) are out. Blazers G Elliott Williams (Achilles tendon) is listed as out.

JERRY ZGODA

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