While the Carmelo Anthony drama still remains unsettled, the players that are still members of the New Jersey Nets have to worry about finding a way to stop their four-game losing streak Saturday night in Portland against the Trail Blazers. Avery Johnson's squad is coming off a 100-88 loss to the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers on Friday in which they found a way to play hard but ultimately came up short.
The Nets are playing their third game of a four game West Coast trip that will wrap up Monday in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors.
Waiting for New Jersey in Portland is a Blazers team that has plenty of their own troubles to deal with. They have lost three straight, including a close 115-111 loss on Friday against the Phoenix Suns. Portland continues to play without All Star guard Brandon Roy who could miss the rest of the season after having knee surgery on both of his knees.
Stepping up for Portland in Roy's absence has been Wesley Matthews. Since losing Roy, Matthews has put up at least 20 points six times including two games over 30. Matthews led the way for the Blazers against the Suns with 26 points while Lamarcus Aldridge was right behind him with 25.
Brook Lopez -- one of the few players that knows he isn't going anywhere in a trade -- had a game-high 35 points and six rebounds Friday in Los Angeles. Helping him out on offense was Sasha Vujacic, in his return to the Staples Center, with 17 points.
The Nets took out the Blazers 98-96 in their first meeting this season back on November 28 in Newark, though Portland has taken 12 of their last 14 at home against New Jersey.