Tuesday , Mar , 06 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Youthful Trail Blazers are learning how to win

(Sports Network) – The Portland Trail Blazers (25-35) are still alive in the
Western Conference playoff race. They are four games behind the Los Angeles
Clippers for the eighth and final playoff.

The red-hot San Antonio Spurs go for their 10th straight victory when they
visit the Trail Blazers on Tuesday at the Rose Garden. It is the third and
final meeting of the campaign between the squads. San Antonio won the two
previous contests. The Spurs have won seven in a row and 14 of the last 15
contests in the series. San Antonio has won three straight and seven of its
last eight at Portland.

Portland plays the third of a four-game homestand against San Antonio. On
Saturday, Kevin Martin scored 33 points to lift the Sacramento Kings to a
104-96 win over the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.

Zach Randolph had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who lost
for the third time in four contests overall. Rookie Brandon Roy ended with 15
points and seven assists, while Martell Webster scored 14 and Jarrett Jack
netted 13 in defeat.

The Trail Blazers are 14-16 at home this season. After Tuesday’s contest,
Portland will not return to the court until March 11th when it hosts the
Golden State Warriors. Golden State has won three straight after losing its
last two at Portland.

Randolph leads the Trail Blazers in scoring (23.7 ppg) and rebounding (10.1
rpg), while Jack, who is averaging 12.6 points, has dished out a team-best 5.4
assists per game. The 6-9 Randolph has scored 20 or more points in six of his
last seven games and collected three double-doubles in that span.

Portland will play 12 of its final 22 games this season on the road. The Trail
Blazers are just 11-19 as the visitor this season.