PORTLAND, Ore. - Lately, Doug Collins has been talking a lot about finding balance on the 76ers, indicating that once they've found it, things will start to look up.
But there was little balance from the Sixers Saturday at the Rose Garden in Portland, where all for one triumphed over one for all. Jrue Holiday scored a game-high 29 points for the Sixers, but that was more than twice that of any of his teammates other than Thaddeus Young, as the Sixers fell to the Portland Trail Blazers, 89-85.
Four Trail Blazers scored at least 16 points or more. Portland (15-14) was led by Nicolas Batum, who finished with 22 points.
Young finished with 17 points for the Sixers (14-17). Holiday also had nine assists and nine rebounds. On the downside, he committed seven turnovers.
The Sixers rallied from an 11-point deficit and pulled to within 86-83 when Young made a driving layup with 1 minute, 8 seconds to play in the game.
Down by just four points at the end of the third quarter, the Blazers opened the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run and led by 80-69 following rookie guard Damian Lillard's three-pointer with 7:37 remaining in the game.
Like the Sixers, who fell at Golden State on Friday, the Trail Blazers were blown out a day earlier, in Los Angeles by the Lakers in a game that was not competitive.
But the Trail Blazers have been very good at home, as evidenced by their six-game home winning streak coming into Saturday's game.
Following their loss to the Warriors, Sixers coach Doug Collins was particularly disconcerted about the sloppiness that characterized the second quarter, which saw the Sixers go from trailing by just four points in the final four minutes to trailing by 15 at halftime.
Collins wanted a more focused effort from the Sixers on Saturday. Holiday, who led them with 14 points by halftime, was having a mixed game that featured five first-half turnovers.
However, the Sixers did not allow Portland to fully take advantage of their sloppiness early on. While Portland did use an 11-0 run in the first quarter that allowed it to hold the lead for most of the first half and at halftime, 49-44, the Sixers kept it manageable.
Atoning for his mistakes, Holiday single-handedly kept the Sixers in the game in the third quarter by making all six of his shots before checking out of the game with just under two minutes remaining in the quarter, which ended with the Blazers leading by 70-67.
The Sixers will get their most significant breather on this trip, with Sunday and Monday off before they face the Los Angeles Lakers on New Year's Day. They follow that up with a game at Phoenix the next day and close out the trip with back-to-back games against Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
The game marked the return to the lineup of starting shooting guard Jason Richardson. Richardson had missed the previous two games with a strained lower back. He had five points while playing almost 22 minutes.