|Wall questionable when Wizards host Blazers|
WASHINGTON -- The Portland Trail Blazers and the Washington Wizards were each involved in a late-game comeback ahead of Saturday's head-to-head matchup. Portland did the rallying for a road win at Brooklyn while Washington crashed and burned.
The bigger storyline for the Eastern Conference contender involves the status of point guard John Wall's injured left knee.
Wall missed Friday's practice and had an MRI on the knee that's been bothering the four-time All-Star for the past two weeks. Wizards coach Scott Brooks said Wall was "definitely going to be questionable" for the first matchup with the Blazers this season.
"We'll see how he feels and then make a decision from there," Brooks said.
In Wednesday's 129-124 overtime loss at Charlotte, Wall had 31 points and 11 assists in 41 minutes. The point guard sat out Sunday's loss at Toronto, but returned for his usual role in Monday's 99-88 victory at Milwaukee.
Washington (10-8) led 111-102 after Wall's jumper with 3:32 remaining in regulation, but Charlotte finished with a 12-3 run. Kemba Walker sank two free throws with two seconds remaining in regulation to force the extra period and Dwight Howard scored four of his 26 points in overtime for the Hornets.
"Very tough loss," Wizards center Marcin Gortat admitted after Washington's second defeat in three games. "We felt like we had the game. We did many good things but we also had a few different slips where we felt that they were the moments where they punished us."
Portland (11-8) avoided its own tough loss by fending off the Nets for a 127-125 win in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon. Damian Lillard scored 34 points.
The Blazers trailed 121-115 with 2:07 remaining. Jusuf Nurkic had the tiebreaking three-point play with 27.6 seconds after forcing a turnover.
"I learn to never quit and there's no lost possession until the game is done," Nurkic said. "We're going to fight. I saw an opportunity to get the ball and try to make a play and it went in."
Nurkic finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds.
"It was good to see that type of passion and that energy," Lillard said of Nurkic's hustle play. "After the game, he was telling me, 'my bad, I missed the free throws, I did this, I did that.' I stopped him in the hallway (and said) 'I don't care about none of that. The most important thing is you made the biggest play of the game."
C.J. McCollum had 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter for the Blazers, who sank half of their field-goal attempts but just 25 of 35 free-throw attempts.
Portland trailed 32-23 after the first quarter, but scored 41 points in the third. Forward Pat Connaughton helped set the second half tone in his second start of the season while Lillard had 15 points in the period.
"After a slow start, I thought we made some hard cuts," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "I thought Pat Connaughton did a nice job at the start of the third quarter. Just making hard cuts and setting other people up. Obviously, Damian Lillard had an outstanding third quarter. "
Wall had procedures on both knees following the 2015-16 season and recently had his injured knee drained, Brooks said. The 27-year-old is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists for the Wizards. Wall missed a game earlier this season with a shoulder injury.
Tim Frazier would replace Wall in the starting lineup if needed. Bradley Beal leads the Wizards in scoring with 24.1 points.
Washington swept the two-game season series from Portland last season, scoring at least 120 points in each contest.