PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Cleveland Cavaliers haven't had any luck at Moda Center in recent years. And the way the Portland Trail Blazers are playing, it won't be any easier Thursday night when the teams collide there.
The Trail Blazers (41-26) have won 10 straight games overall and have prevailed in 16 of their last 17 outings in their home arena.
"They play well at home, we know that for sure," Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue told reporters.
The Cavaliers have lost in their last three visits to Portland, and none of them have been close: 101-82 in 2014-15, 105-76 in 2015-16 and 102-86 last season.
In the teams' only meeting this season, Cleveland (39-28) won handily, beating the Blazers 127-110 on Jan. 2 at Quicken Loans Arena. Both teams are much different now than they were then, the Blazers with the way they are playing, the Cavaliers after mid-season roster shuffles and injuries to big men Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson.
Since major moves at the trade deadline, LeBron James' most able teammates have been Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill and Rodney Hood, acquired in deals with the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz.
"They're a much different team now," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "They've added some very good talent."
Lue has great respect for Portland's top two players, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Lillard, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, has averaged 34.5 points and eclipsed the 30-point mark eight times in the last 12 games. He has scored at least 20 points in each of those games.
"They have two dynamic guards," Lue said. "Coach Stotts does a great job of moving them, so you can't really lock into those two guys trying to blitz them. Dame is playing at a high level; so is McCollum. They have two guys who can really hurt you offensively. If they've got it going, it's going to be a tough night for you."
Lillard and James are tied for fourth in the NBA in scoring at 26.9 points per game. James is also averaging 9.0 assists and 8.5 rebounds.
Portland forward Moe Harkless refuses to label James' annual visit as a happening.
"It's just another game," Harkless said. "We look at every game the same way."
Harkless' teammates are more revealing.
"It's real big," Portland forward Evan Turner said. "If you don't think so, you don't know spit. Any time LeBron comes out here, it's big."
The Cavaliers have lost four of their last seven games, but James is coming of a triple-double of 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in a 129-107 win at Phoenix on Tuesday.
"Any time he steps onto a court, his team has a chance," Turner said. "They may be due to turn a corner. We have to make sure it doesn't happen against us. We know what we're going to be up against."
Hundreds of fans of the Cavs and of James will be at Moda Center in their support Thursday night.
"You know a lot of people are going to come out because he's LeBron," Lillard said. "We couldn't care less about that. But we know he's the best player in the world. He could come in here and beat you by himself. We have to be ready for that challenge, be ready to be playing the team ball that we've been playing."