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Sixers will look to keep momentum when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers

The Sixers are coming off a Christmas Day victory but have lost their last three games in Portland.

The Sixers’ T.J. McConnell, right, reacting after being called for a foul against Portland’s Damian Lillard during the teams’ meeting in November.
The Sixers’ T.J. McConnell, right, reacting after being called for a foul against Portland’s Damian Lillard during the teams’ meeting in November.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

The 76ers are looking for repeat performances.

Their Christmas Day victory over the New York Knicks was something they cherish. However, they realize the positive impact from that would disappear with a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and poor showings in the final two games of their road trip.

"We have to build off this feeling and the way that we played and competed," said JJ Redick, whose Sixers (15-18) snapped a five-game skid with their 105-98 victory over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

"Look at those three teams [Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns]. Even Phoenix is playing well despite their record. It's going to be tough."

The Sixers opened the five-game road trip with a lopsided loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday before upsetting the Knicks. After two days off, they'll face the Trail Blazers (17-16) at 10:30 p.m. Thursday at the Moda Center in a nationally televised game on TNT.

Then they'll face the Nuggets on Saturday and cap the trip against the Suns (13-23) on Sunday. Denver takes a 19-15 record and three-game winning streak into Wednesday night's road game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Blazers are well-rested after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 95-92, Saturday. That victory snapped a three-game losing streak for a squad that has been streaking in both directions. The Blazers won three straight games from Nov. 24-27 then lost five straight from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. They followed that by winning three consecutive games from Dec. 13-15 before their recent three-game skid.

Most of those setbacks came at home, where they have lost six straight and are 7-10. But Thursday's game should be interesting.

A lot has happened for the Sixers since they beat Portland, 101-81, on Nov. 22 at the Wells Fargo Center. They went on to win two of their next three games. After that, they lost 10 of 13. They'll look to get another huge game from Joel Embiid, who finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in the November matchup.

Damian Lillard, the Blazers' two-time all-star point guard, scored a game-high 30 points in that meeting. However, the Sixers held C.J. McCollum to a season-low five points on 1-for-14 shooting. It was the only time the standout shooting guard has scored fewer than 12 points this season. He's averaging 20.7.

McCollum and the Blazers will definitely look for a better showing Thursday. Meanwhile, the Sixers will look to win in Portland for the first time since the 2013-14 season.  They also want to build off Monday's victory.

"Taking care of the ball was a big factor in beating the Knicks," Sixers forward Robert Covington said. "We did a hell of a job as far as executing and everything. We have to make sure we stay the course."