The Los Angeles Lakers, with their spot as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference nearly secure, have lost three straight games. They hope to end that skid Friday night at the Rose Garden against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers can clinch the No. 2 seed Friday night with a win over Portland, coupled with a Dallas loss at home to the Clippers.
The Lakers historically have had trouble at the Rose Garden, and hadn't won a season series against the Blazers since the 2004-2005 season, but this season has been different. The Lakers are 3-0 against Portland this season, including an overtime win at the Rose Garden on February 23. Pau Gasol has averaged 17.3 points and 13.7 rebounds against Portland, with three double-doubles in three games.
The Blazers had an eight-game home winning streak snapped on Tuesday against Golden State. Portland is currently a half-game up on New Orleans for the No. 6 seed in the west, but if the Blazers drop to seventh, tonight could be a preview of a possible first-round playoff series.
For more news and information on the Lakers or tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.