Wednesday , Feb , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Blazers trying to climb out of cellar

(Sports Network) – The Portland Trail Blazers are still in the cellar in the
Northwest Division. They are a dismal 18-34, but trail the fourth place
Seattle SuperSonics (20-34) by just one game.

Portland begins a three-game homestand on Wednesday, as it welcomes the
Charlotte Bobcats to the Rose Garden. It is the second meeting of the season
between the clubs. On February 13th, Zach Randolph scored 10 of his 21 points
down the stretch in the fourth quarter and also grabbed nine rebounds, as the
Trail Blazers defeated the Bobcats, 91-83, at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.
Portland has won all three meetings between the squads.

The Trail Blazers, who have lost two in a row, return home after going a
dismal 1-6 on a seven-game road trip. On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant finished with 27
points, six rebounds and five steals as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated
Portland, 99-82, at the Staples Center.

Juan Dixon scored 16 points and dished out four assists, while Darius Miles
ended with 13 points in the loss to the Lakers for Portland, which has lost 10
of its last 14 contests overall.

Portland is 12-13 as the host this season. The Trail Blazers, who have won six
of their last nine at home, will also play the Celtics and Hornets on the
current stand.

Randolph leads the Blazers in scoring (18.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.6 rpg),
while Steve Blake has dished out a team-high 4.3 assists per game.

The Blazers are 4-1 when they score more than 100 points this season.

Portland is scheduled to play 16 of its final 30 games this season at the Rose