PORTLAND, Ore. - Lately, Doug Collins has been talking a lotabout 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.
"I had a lot of turnovers, almost had my first quadrupled double," Holiday said. "For us, tonight it was an uphill grind the whole game. That takes a lot out of you."
Although the Sixers never led after Portland went ahead for good with eight minutes left in the first quarter, they stayed close mostly. And when the Trail Blazers took their biggest lead of the night, 80-69, the Sixers fought back to within 86-83.
But Spencer Hawes (10 points, 11 rebounds), missed a wide-open three with 26.9 seconds to play that possibly could have forced overtime.
"Those are the opportunities that you look forward to, to be able to be in the game and have the opportunity to take those kinds of shots and make those kinds of shots. Unfortunately tonight it didn't go in."
With the loss the Sixers have now lost eight of their last 10 games. Going into the game they knew that they would face a fired up Portland team that, like them, lost the night before.
However, Portland has been particularly good at home lately. Saturday's victory was their seventh in a row at home.
Like the Sixers, who were playing the fourth of eight games in a row, the Blazers, beginning with a Tuesday game in New York, will play their next four games away.
"We know that we can win games at home," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "We have the crowd behind us – they're definitely our sixth man. But we have to learn to be winners on the road. The good teams win on the road. They get their stops, and they grind out wins on the road. That's what we want to start doing."
The same can be said about the Sixers.
NOTES: The game marked the return to the lineup of starting shooting
guard Jason Richardson. Richardson missed the previous two games
with a strained lower back. He five points in his return on 2 for 5 shooting.