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Lakers look to break losing streak in Portland

January 7, 2010 |  2:19 pm

On Feb. 23, 2005, the Lakers defeated the Trail Blazers, 86-83, in Portland.

Lakerslogo What's so significant about that date, you might ask?

Well, the Lakers haven't won a game in Portland since then.

They have lost eight consecutive games to the Trail Blazers in Portland.

The Lakers head back to Portland for a game Friday night in the Rose Garden, this time with hopes of breaking a nagging losing streak.

"We've got a challenge ahead of us, I guess," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said after practice today.

The Trail Blazers have five key players out with injuries and two, LaMarcus Aldridge (left ankle) and Steve Blake (pneumonia), that have been out but may be available for the game.

The Lakers also have some injuries to deal with.

Power forward Pau Gasol has missed the last two games with a strained left hamstring and will not play against Portland.

Jackson said he was hopeful that Gasol would be able to play Sunday -- at the earliest.

Luke Walton, who has been out with a bad back, did some light work in a four-on-four scrimmage at practice today.

Jackson said Walton was "close" to being back on the court practicing, hopefully next week.

Jackson also mentioned that Kobe Bryant, who was 10-for-30 from the field against the Clippers Wednesday night, "re-injured" the avulsion fracture on his right index finger recently and that has affected his shooting.

-- Broderick Turner

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