Found January 27, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Picimg_nba_mar_13_a145
Home and Home The Portland Trail Blazers are set to take on the Los Angeles Clippers for the second time in two nights, and while they had the home crowd behind them the first time around, they’ll be traveling to Staples Center for round 2. Matchup: Portland (22-21) @ Los Angeles Clippers (32-14) Venue: Staples Center Time: 6:30 PM PT Date: Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 Nicolas Batum recorded the second triple-double of his career Saturday night. (Photo: Bruce Ely/The Oregonian) Portland was able to take down the Clippers on Saturday in dramatic fashion, and if they want to do the same on Sunday, they’ll have to play just as well on the road. Game Notes/ How They Match Up After watching these two teams face off just 24 hours before Sunday’s contest, we have a pretty good idea of how they match up. The Clippers have been a much better defensive group on the year, but when Portland gets out and plays an efficient game, their offense can handle just about anybody in the league. The surprising thing that came from the most recent matchup is that the Clippers dominated the glass. Despite having Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on their side, they are only a middle-of-the-road rebounding team at best. On the season, Portland and Los Angles have been nearly identical, but L.A. had the edge in that department Saturday night. If Portland can keep this game close, it’s going to come down to which group can make the hustle plays when they need them. Los Angeles has the ability to run Portland out of the gym, but in a tight game, a young Portland team can find ways of winning. What to Watch: Portland Rather than one area to watch out for, the Blazers have one player to keep an eye on come Sunday. That player is Nicolas Batum. Nicolas Batum is the most improved player on this roster by a long shot, and his season keeps getting better and better as the year goes on. He has two triple-doubles in his last three games—the first two of his career—and he is showing that he can impact a game from all over the floor. As a distributor, Batum played the pick-and-roll game well against Los Angeles. He knew when to defer to his teammates and when to take over on his own, which is a veteran-like quality that he’s learned this season. He also showed he can make hustle plays, as he was all over the court both flying through the air and diving on the ground. Portland’s success doesn’t rely on Batum’s performance alone, but the better the forward plays, the easier life becomes for the Blazers. What to Watch: Los Angeles Los Angeles is the No. 2 team in the NBA when it comes to points in the paint, and they showed it in their one-point loss at the Rose Garden. They took full advantage of Portland’s weak interior defense, and they scored 56 points at the rim compared to the Blazers’ 32. Nobody should be surprised by how well the Clippers scored in the pain Saturday night, but what was surprising was their performance from long range. Aldridge and Blake Griffin will face off in a battle of the NBA’s top power forwards (Photo: Bruce Ely/The Oregonian) L.A. finished the game 7-of-16 from the three-point line, as they were taking smart shots and looking for open opportunities. A 43.8-percent showing was incredible compared to their season average of 35.1 percent, and if they can duplicate that number in back-to-back games, they’ll have the advantage. Key Matchup LaMarcus Aldridge was the low scorer of all five Trail Blazers starters Saturday night. Blake Griffin was the high scorer for the Clippers. That may not sound like the most intense battle on paper, but the matchup between the two All-Star forwards should be much more closely contested at Staples Center. The NBA is a physical game. While all players have a mutual respect for the physicality at hand, nobody likes to get hit by the same person over and over again. This is why playoff series get so intense, and this is why round 2 between Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge will be that much better. On the boards, Griffin has the clear advantage. Aldridge, however, can score in a multitude of ways—ways Griffin has yet to establish. These two are different types of players at this stage in their careers, but both can get out and run, and both want to prove they are atop the ranks of game’s best power forwards. Injury Report Portland: DAY-TO-DAY—Sasha Pavlovic Los Angeles: DAY-TO-DAY—Chris Paul Prediction Portland took down the Clips at home Saturday night, but Staples Center will be a much more difficult place to pull out a win. Blazers 97 – Clippers 105 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Nicolas Batum triple-doubles Saturday in win

Nicolas Batum keeps proving that he's a top-10 talent. In Saturday's win over the Clippers, the French phenom triple-double with 20 points (7-15 FG, 2-2 FT), 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Batum filled the rest of the stat sheet with four 3-pointers, a steal and a block. He's a major talent that should be cherished in all leagues.

Trail Blazers 101, Clippers 100

Nicolas Batum had 20 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for his second triple-double in a week and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Los Angeles Clippers their fourth straight loss with a 101-100 victory on Saturday night. The Clippers, playing without guard Chis Paul for the third straight game because of a bruised right kneecap, trailed by as many as 14 points...

Blake Griffin dunked over Nicolas Batum from just inside the FT line

The Los Angeles Clippers lost their 4th consecutive last night (101-100 to Portland) -- but that didn't keep Blake Griffin from making the NBA's YouTube page again. **Follow us on Twitter.... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com

Blazers hand Clippers 4th loss in row

Nicolas Batum had 20 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for his second triple-double in a week and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Los Angeles Clippers their fourth straight loss with a 101-100 victory on Saturday night. The Clippers, playing without guard Chis Paul for the third straight game because of a bruised right kneecap, trailed by as many as 14 points...

Griffin set to start against Portland (ankle)

PORTLAND After a very light practice on Friday, Blake Griffin said he was feeling better after retweaking his left ankle in the first quarter of Thursday night's game at Phoenix. Griffin did some shooting at the practice, and the team said the All-Star power forward is expected to be in the starting lineup Saturday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. Griffin said he first...

Blake Griffin soars for nasty left-handed dunk against Blazers (Video)

As previously noted on Outside the Boxscore, when the Los Angeles Clippers play a basketball game, there will at least be one notable dunk from star forward Blake Griffin. Check out this soaring left-handed dunk that Blake achieved in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers:

Clippers lose in Portland without Chris Paul

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Nicolas Batum had 20 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for his second triple-double in a week and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Los Angeles Clippers their fourth straight loss with a 101-100 victory on Saturday night. The Clippers, playing without guard Chis Paul for the third straight game because of a bruised right kneecap, trailed...

Griffin powers Clippers past Blazers

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Blake Griffin had 23 points and nine assists and the Los Angeles Clippers ended a four-game losing streak with a 96-83 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. The Clippers have the third-best record in the NBA at 33-13, 2 games behind San Antonio. Eric Bledsoe had 10 points, five assists and five rebounds in his seventh start as point guard. Chris...

Michael Beasley gets the heck out of the way of vicious Blake Griffin dunk (video)

  As he is wont to do, Los Angeles Clippers superstar Blake Griffin put on a dunking display on Thursday night. And while it was in a losing effort to the Phoenix Suns by a score of 93-88, Griffin’s thunderous, powerful and flashy slams nevertheless proved to be the most compelling highlights of the night. In total, Griffin threw down three vicious slams against the Suns, but...

The Ages 25-29 All-NBA Team

LaMarcus Aldridge posts up David Lee. Image courtesy of www.columbian.com When professional athletes turn 25 years of age people generally begin to say those players are in their prime. A player’s prime is typically a five year window where they are able to maximize their potential by meshing skill and athleticism. Players in all sports generally begin to decline when they turn...

Clippers blast Blazers to end four-game skid

LOS ANGELES -- This time, the Los Angeles Clippers finished what they started. One night after surrendering the final 10 points of the game in an excruciating loss to the Trail Blazers, the Clippers reversed the result in a 96-83 victory over Portland at sold-out Staples Center. In the process, the Clippers halted a four-game losing streak despite playing without star guard Chris...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.