Trail Blazers take on skidding Suns

Portland had little trouble with the hottest team in the NBA on Friday.

Next up, the coldest.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 50 points and six 3-pointers when the Trail Blazers limited Utah to 17 points in each of the final three quarters in an 100-81 victory Friday.

The Blazers (33-26) never trailed while breaking the Jazz’s 11-game winning streak.

Next up, a team that never led.

Phoenix gave up the first 19 points and trailed 24-2 six minutes into a 128-117 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. It was never that close.

The Raptors trailed 110-108 with 3.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter after Middleton split a pair of free throws. Following a timeout, Toronto inbounded the ball to Valanciunas, who paused before driving for the tying dunk.

Toronto scored the first five points of the extra session, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Terry and Middleton capped an 8-0 Bucks run, giving Milwaukee a 118-115 lead with 1:58 left.

Valanciunas stopped the run with a dunk, but Antetokounmpo’s jumper with 13 seconds left put the Bucks up 120-117.

Home-field advantage has reigned supreme as of late, but that hasn’t always been the case, by any stretch:

This will be 4th Super Bowl in last 5 seasons to feature two No. 1 seeds. From 1994-2012, No. 1 seeds met in Super Bowl in only 1 of 19 seasons.

Home teams have always had an advantage when it comes to the playoffs. They are 89-53 in the Wild Card Round (0.627), 152-62 in the Divisional Round (0.710), and 94-46 in the conference championships (0.671). There are few reasons to explain why:

But none of that really explains why top-seeded teams are cruising through competition now more than ever. In the last five years, home teams are 35-15 (0.700) in the playoffs and the 2016 Cowboys are the only No. 1 seed to go down early.bears_091-223x223