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- Jordan Crawford, recently acquired by Boston in a trade with Washington, scored 19 points in 27 minutes off the bench in the Wizards’ 84-82 win over Portland on Nov. 28. The 6-4 shooting guard had 13 points — including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer — in 22 reserve minutes in the Wizards’ 98-95 victory at the Rose Garden on Jan. 21. “Tell me about it,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “He’s an effective scorer. It gives Boston another scoring option off the bench. With Jason Terry and Jeff Green — they have some explosive scorers there.”
- Tonight will be the Portland debut of Eric Maynor, acquired Thursday in a deal with Oklahoma City. Maynor will back up Damian Lillard at the point. “He’ll get (rotation minutes), and since they play Terry and (Avery) Bradley together, you may see Eric and Damian together as well,” Stotts said.
- Rivers will use the 6-2 Bradley to guard the 6-3 Lillard, eschewing the recent philosophy of Portland opponents to use a bigger player to defend the Blazer rookie. “Avery is one of the best defensive guards in the league,” Rivers said. “We’re hoping that’s good enough. (Lillard) is going to keep seeing different matchups. He’s like the pitcher going through (the batting order) the second time. They’re going to try different things. But he’ll figure it out, I’ll guarantee you that. Putting a big guy on him won’t work for long.”
- Portland’s season-long seven-game losing streak has not been a topic of locker-room discussion, Stotts said. “What’s done is done,” Portland’s first-year mentor said. “We have to find a way to win tonight at home. I was pleased with the way we played (in a 111-107 loss Friday) against the Lakers. We have to come out with the same effort and play as well as we did in that game. “We’ve played well during this streak in some games — Dallas, Miami and against the Lakers. Even though we’ve lost seven in a row, it hasn’t all been bad basketball.” Will the Blazers be even more motivated to win tonight because of the streak? “They should be,” River said with a smile. “Or a weaker team. Who knows? If it’s us, I hope we’re dangerous. If it’s the other team, I hope they’re weak. I don’t worry about the other team as much as I worry about my own. It’s the only thing I can control.”
– Kerry Eggers