Blazers: Portland went into the week still without injured forward LaMarcus Aldridge, but that could change soon, as the Blazers attempt to hold on to the No. 5 playoff spot and a potential first-round playoff match-up with Houston (or the Los Angeles Clippers). ... Portland’s next home game isn’t until Sunday vs. Memphis, 6 p.m. ... Going into the week, the Blazers were tied for sixth in the NBA in 3-point shooting (.374) and 15th overall from the field (.449). In scoring, they were second at 107.5 behind the Clippers’ 107.6, with Houston third at 106.9.

Winterhawks: It’s all going according to plan in the Western Hockey League Western Conference playoffs, with the top four teams — Kelowna, Portland, Victoria and Seattle — owning 2-0 series leads.

The Hawks have outshot Vancouver 88-31 and won 4-3 and 3-0. Kelowna has won a pair of 3-1 games against Tri-City. Victoria has beaten Spokane twice in overtime. Seattle has the edge on Everett in a matchup of teams that each had 88 regular-season points.

Timbers: Portland (0-1-2) can play early-season spoiler when it visits FC Dallas (2-0-1), 5:30 p.m. PT Saturday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Native Texan Andrew Weber (born in Austin) is Portland’s likely goaltender, replacing regular starter Donovan Ricketts, who drew a red card and banged a knee in last week’s 2-0 loss at Colorado. Weber, 30, has played in only nine MLS games in six-plus seasons.

Thorns: Portland’s 24-game National Women’s Soccer League regular season, which will run for four-plus months, begins on Saturday, April 12 at the expansion Houston Dash.

Thunder: The first-year Portland team plays its first Arena Football League road game on Saturday, April 5 at the expansion Los Angeles KISS, 7 p.m. The KISS, owned in part by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of rock band KISS, play at the Honda Center, also home of the NHL Anaheim Mighty Ducks. The KISS are 1-1.

Mariners: Newly acquired second baseman Robinson Cano (.462 through Sunday) and outfielder Dustin Ackley (.418) have been among the best at the plate in spring training for Seattle. The Mariners were 16-9 going into the week. Their season opener is 7 p.m. Monday at the Los Angeles Angels. The first game at Safeco Field is game eight on Tuesday, April 8, 7 p.m., also versus the Angels.


Men’s basketball: The Oregon Ducks finished 24-10 after losing 85-77 in the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.

Women’s basketball: Oregon State takes on No. 1 seed South Carolina at Seattle tonight, 6:30, in the second round of the NCAA Tourney. ... Former Franklin High guard Shoni Schimmel and Louisville is 31-4 after dismantling Idaho 88-42 in the tourney. The Cardinals’ next foe is Iowa (27-8) at 6:30 PT tonight at Iowa City, Iowa.

Baseball: Oregon, Washington and UCLA share the Pac-12 lead at 5-1. Oregon State is 4-2. Arizona State and USC are 3-3.

• Oregon is 17-5 overall after a sweep of visiting Utah (1-0, 4-1, 3-1. UO pitchers have a .196 batting average against and a 2.44 ERA. But the Ducks have lost third baseman/leadoff hitter to Scott Heineman, who will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. This weekend, Oregon is at Stanford.

• OSU (19-5) lost two of three at home to ASU and will take on Arizona (11-15, 1-5) at Tucson this weekend. The Wildcats lead the conference in batting average (.308) and runs (164, 6.3 per game). Beavers outfielder Michael Conforto is first in the league in RBIs (30), walks (28) and on-base percentage (.555). He is hitting .373.

• Top Pac-12 pitchers include Oregon’s Jeff Gold (6-0, 2.04 ERA, .182 opponent batting average, 32 strikeouts, three walks in 39 2/3 innings) and Oregon State’s Ben Wetzler (4.0, 0.59, .091 opponent batting average, 28 strikeouts, six walks in 30 2/3 innings).

• The Portland Piots are 0-6 in the West Coast Conference and 5-18 overall after being swept at home by Saint Mary’s. Caleb Whalen (.268, three home runs, 11 RBIs) is among UP’s top hitters this season, and Cody Lenahan has a club-high 14 RBIs despite a .194 batting average.

• In the Northwest Conference, Linfield (11-1, 18-3 overall) has opened up a 2 1/2-game lead on second-place Pacific Lutheran (8-3, 13-7).

• Concordia (7-5, 17-9 overall) is tied with Corban for third in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. British Columbia (7-2, 15-5) is first, followed by Lewis-Clark State (6-2, 15-4).

Softball: Portland State managed a 1-2 start to the Big Sky season at home last weekend against Idaho State, which shared the 2013 conference regular-season title with the Vikings. PSU won the middle game 10-2 at Erv Lind Stadium, but lost the opener 2-1 and Sunday’s finale 7-4. ... PSU returns to Erv Lind this weekend to play Big Sky North Dakota in a 4 p.m. Saturday doubleheader and 1 p.m. Sunday game.

• Linfield (15-1, 19-2 overall) leads second-place Whitworth (11-3) in the Northwest Conference.

• Concordia (6-2, 13-11) is third in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, behind Oregon Tech (8-0, 15-5) and Southern Oregon (7-1, 8-7).

Track and field: At Hayward Field, the Oregon Ducks set several meet records, four by the women, in their outdoor debut, the Oregon Preview, last weekend.

Wrestling: Oregon State placed 28th at the NCAA championships at Oklahoma City, Okla.

Gymnastics: OSU took fifth in the Pac-12 championships at Cal. Junior Chelsea Tang was fourth in the all-around.

Golf: Concordia’s women are ranked 16th in NAIA, and the Cavaliers’ men are No. 17.

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