Preview: Lakers bring five-game losing streak to Portland

The Lakers (9-36) visit the Portland Trail Blazers (19-26) for a 7:30 p.m. game Saturday night at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.

After losing to the San Antonio Spurs, 108-95, on Friday, the Lakers will play their second game in as many days, hoping to break a five-game losing streak.

The Trail Blazers are still within reach of the eighth-place Sacramento Kings (19-23) in the Western Conference standings.

Lakers rookie Larry Nance Jr. has sat out recent games because of a sore knee. Portland, meanwhile is at full strength.

Key matchup

Portland point guard Damian Lillard is one the NBA's top scorers, averaging 24.3 points a game while shooting 41.5% from the field.

Lillard is also strong playmaker, averaging 7.0 assists a game.

It's his outside shooting that always seems to burn the Lakers. So far this season, Lillard is shooting 37.3% from behind the three-point arc.

The Lakers will match up with Jordan Clarkson against Lillard, although Lou Williams and D'Angelo Russell might draw the assignment as well during the game.

X-factor

Guard C.J. McCollum has also emerged as a big-time scorer for the Trail Balzers, averaging 20.7 points a game.

In addition to McCollum's 39.2% shooting from three-point range, the Blazers also have swingmen Allen Crabbe (39.3%) and Gerald Henderson (38.1%) shooting well from long distance.

Portland forwards Al-Farouq Aminu (35.3%) and Meyers Leonard (34.9%) are also outside threats.

The Lakers' best regular three-point shooter is Williams (33.3%), who is actually matched by Nance (albeit with a low volume of attempts).  Russell is shooting 32.4% from long range, Clarkson 31.7% and Kobe Bryant just 25%.

Nick Young (35.4%) and Metta World Peace (37%) have not played a part recently in the team's regular rotation.

Outlook

The Lakers rarely seem to win in Portland and are less likely to do so on the second night of back-to-back games.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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