Blazers: Portland heads to the NBA All-Star break after Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. anticipated shootout at home with Golden State. The Blazers won't be back at Moda Center again until March 7. By then, they will have played seven games, visiting Brooklyn (Feb. 21), Philadelphia (Feb. 23), Cleveland (Feb. 25), Boston (Feb. 27), Toronto (March 1), Charlotte (March 3) and Memphis (March 5).
Winterhawks: Portland has 13 games remaining before the Western Hockey League playoffs. Next up is a three-games-in-three-days set with two at Moda Center (6 p.m. Saturday vs. Red Deer, 4 p.m. Sunday vs. Seattle) and a 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, game at Vancouver.
Timbers: Portland will play its first preseason matches against MLS competition this week in Tucson, Arizona. The Timbers will face Seattle on Wednesday and the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
It's hard to know much about the Timbers' two wins in Costa Rica last week over primarily reserve lineups for Saprissa and for C.S. Herediano. But no one is going to complain about a combined 6-0 score, with most of the Timbers playing about 45 minutes.
It's intriguing that Lucas Melano scored three times, apparently dribbling past defenders on two of the goals. If the affable Melano can somehow become more than just a player to scare opponents with his speed, the Timbers' investment will look better and so will their forward depth as the club awaits the eventual addition of a high-priced newcomer.
All indications are the Timbers are significantly ahead of where they were three weeks into training camp a year ago. That makes sense because Giovanni Savarese and most of the players have worked together for a year and those players are in better shape because of the short offseason.
Soccer: Former Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell made his return to English soccer on Saturday, playing the final 15 minutes for Hull City in a 2-0 loss to Derby County in a Championship (second-division) match. He picked up a yellow card in the brief appearance.
AAF: Coach Mike Riley's San Antonio Commanders won the first game in the history of the Alliance of American Football on Saturday. The eight-team league enjoyed higher TV ratings on CBS than the Houston-Oklahoma City NBA game on ABC as San Antonio defeated the San Diego Fleet 15-6 before 27,857 fans at the Alamodome.
College baseball: Defending NCAA champion Oregon State opens at noon PT Friday against New Mexico. It's the first of eight games for the Beavers at Surprise, Arizona, before they welcome West Virginia to Goss Stadium for a three-game series, March 1-3. … Oregon starts its season with four games at No. 8 Texas Tech, Friday-Monday. The Ducks are scheduled to be at PK Park against Saint Mary's for six games Feb. 22-24. … Portland's opening weekend will be spent in Honolulu with four games, Friday-Sunday, against Hawaii.
College softball: Oregon and Oregon State, off to 5-0, head off for more weekend tournament action. The Ducks, who outscored their opponents 53-20 last week in Tempe, Arizona, now face No. 11 LSU and No. 23 James Madison on Friday and Florida Atlantic and No. 13 Kentucky on Saturday in much bigger tests at Clearwater, Florida. OSU, which beat its foes by a combined 30-13 last week in Tempe, goes to Long Beach, California, for five games, the toughest figuring to be two matchups with host Long Beach State, which just missed the top 25 in the season-opening rankings.
Portland State went 2-4, with two one-run losses, at the San Diego Invitational. Now the Vikings, who appear to be on the climb and were picked for third in the Big Sky, go to the Stanford Invitational for five games.