Wednesday , Mar , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Blazers host Lakers at the Rose Garden

(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers put to rest a two-game losing
streak and will try to keep the momentum going tonight against the Portland
Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.

On Tuesday at the Staples Center, Kobe Bryant scored 14 of his 28 points in
the fourth quarter to lead the Lakers past the struggling Orlando Magic,

Los Angeles is clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western
Conference — just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Utah Jazz.

Now Phil Jackson’s bunch will take it to the road for a pair of games starting
with Portland on Wednesday followed by Golden State on Friday. The Lakers are
1-5 in their last six road games and own a 13-17 mark as the guest in 2005-06.

The Trail Blazers are currently caught in a tailspin, having lost six in a row
and 10 of their last 11 games. Portland finished with a 2-11 mark in February,
including a 115-91 setback to Sacramento on Monday night.

Brian Skinner led Portland with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Sebastian
Telfair contributed 16 points in the loss for the Blazers, who dropped to 6-22
on the road this season and have lost three in a row and seven of their last
eight away from the Rose Garden.

Cellar dwellers in the Northwest Division, the Trail Blazers will open a
three-game Texas road trip starting with San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.

Portland defeated the Lakers in the first meeting by a 113-103 score on
January 11. Juan Dixon poured in 27 points and dished out six assists to lead
the Trail Blazers.

However, Los Angeles evened the season series with a 99-82 home victory on
February 21. Bryant had 27 points, six rebounds and five steals to lead the
Lakers at the Staples Center.

The Lakers have won four of the past six meetings, but have dropped two in a
row at the Rose Garden. LA is just 2-8 in its last 10 trips to Portland.

These two teams will meet again on April 14 in Los Angeles.