A favorable 11-game stretch concludes Monday night for the Portland Trail Blazers, and the club didn't take advantage of the good fortune.
The Trail Blazers host the Atlanta Hawks to conclude a span in which 10 of 11 games were at home over a 21-day stretch. Portland is just 4-6 during a time when a Jan. 17 game at the Denver Nuggets marks the only occasion it had to leave town.
The Trail Blazers received another break for Saturday's clash with the Toronto Raptors. Portland was well-rested after not playing since Wednesday and the Raptors were playing the second night of a road back-to-back, having lost 129-117 to the Golden State Warriors on Friday night in San Francisco.
But it was Toronto that looked refreshed while bolting to a 30-7 lead and posting an easy 123-105 victory over the Trail Blazers.
"I think the bad starts have become a trend," Portland star Damian Lillard said afterward. "They came out with more energy than we did and more urgency than we did and they jumped out on us. It was an uphill battle from that point on."
Lillard scored 30 points against Toronto three nights after putting up a season-best 60 in a 134-124 home win over the Utah Jazz.
He made a 3-pointer to pull Portland within 94-90 with 8:41 remaining but the Raptors rattled off 14 straight points to seal it.
"Anytime you dig yourself a hole like that in this league, on one hand you're going to always be able to get back into the game because teams play so fast and the game is so long," Lillard said.
"But on the other hand, you're wearing yourself out trying to get back into the game and having to be close to perfect that once you get back into the game, it's hard to actually win it. That's what we were up against."
Portland was outrebounded 45-27 while playing without Jusuf Nurkic (calf) and Josh Hart (hamstring). Both are listed as day-to-day.
The Hawks have lost three of their past four games as they open a five-game road trip.
Atlanta fell 120-113 to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday when it had no answer on how to stop Kawhi Leonard, who made five 3-pointers while scoring 32 points. The Clippers were 19 of 39 from 3-point range.
"They were shooting right over our defense and getting the ball to the spot they wanted on the floor," Hawks coach Nate McMillan said afterward.
Star guard Trae Young said Paul George (23 points) joined Leonard in being a big problem for Atlanta.
"You've got two guys out there that are all-NBA type players," Young said. "It's easier said on how to stop those guys than just doing it. They played really good.
"Kawhi did a really good job of scoring when he needed to and P.G. got everybody involved when he was getting in traps and stuff, but he was scoring early. Those guys played really well. You've got to give them credit."
Young recorded 31 points and 10 assists but didn't make a 3-pointer for the fourth time in six games. He missed both attempts against the Clippers and is 4 of 25 during the stretch.
Young does have four straight double-doubles and five overall during the span.
Monday's meeting is the first of two between the teams this season. The clubs split six meetings over the previous three campaigns.
--Field Level Media