for this game

Blazers have hands full vs. Clippers

Jan 14, 2015 - 2:55 PM ( - The Portland Trail Blazers will try to defend their four-game winning streak Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Moda Center.

The Blazers recently completed a seven-game homestand at 6-1, then knocked off the Los Angeles Lakers on the road on Sunday. They've won eight of their last nine with the only setback coming at home versus the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 3.

Portland, which has taken two straight as the visitor, handled the Lakers, 106-94. Kobe Bryant didn't suit up for the Lakers, but Damian Lillard did for the Blazers.

Lillard had 17 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter as the Trail Blazers pulled away. Lillard also finished with seven assists and shot 13-for-23 from the floor and 4-for-8 from long range.

"Damian finished with a flurry, which was fun to watch," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.

LaMarcus Aldridge posted 15 points and nine rebounds, while Wesley Matthews added 16 points and five assists for Portland. Nicolas Batum chipped in 11 and Meyers Leonard managed 10 off the bench.

Wednesday night begins a tough stretch for the Blazers. They visit the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, then head to Memphis to face the Grizzlies on Saturday.

"I think it's human nature to get up for good teams, regardless of which conference. No matter who it is," Stotts told after practice on Tuesday. "If we're playing one of the top teams in the East we get up for that. I think it's kind of in our nature as players and coaches that we understand the importance of it relative to the standings in the Western Conference."

The Blazers are second in the Western Conference, just 1 1/2 games behind the Golden State Warriors.

The Clippers are currently sixth out west and completed a nine-game homestand at 6-3. They closed the residency with a disappointing, 104-90 loss to the Miami Heat.

Blake Griffin had 26 points and Chris Paul scored 23 with nine assists for the Clippers. Miami took the lead for good at the end of the first quarter and maintained a double-digit edge through much of the game.

"I thought we came out with pretty good energy to start the game," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "After that our energy went way down and we never could get it back."

Now, the Clippers will try and get back on track against the league's best team in terms of opponents' scoring and rebounding.

"I think where they've had the biggest jump is in their defense," Rivers said. "They're so much better. Last year they were a great offensive team and they struggled defensively. This year they're a great offensive team and they're very, very good defensively."

The Clippers beat the Blazers by four in LA on Nov. 8 and are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the teams. Portland has won the last three encounters as the host.