1. Shrinking margin: The Trail Blazers have lost four games in a row going into their matchup against the Hornets today at New Orleans, their final contest before the All-Star break. The Blazers have started what was supposed to be a make-or-break road trip 1-4. Although Portland (25-27) remains in ninth place in the Western Conference, it has fallen three full games behind eighth-place Houston and is headed the wrong way as the other teams contending for the lower playoff seeds are heating up...
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