The Portland Trail Blazers (30-19) hit the road for two tough Western Conference matchups.
Tuesday’s game against the L.A. Clippers (33-18) will be the second matchup between the two this season. The Clippers will visit Portland on April 20.
L.A. leads the season series, 1-0.
The Clippers took the first meeting back on Dec. 30, defeating the Blazers 128-105.
In the loss, CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 25 points, to go along with four rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Kawhi Leonard notched 28 points for the Clippers to help pace L.A. He also recorded three rebounds, seven assists, three steals and one block.
The Clippers are 19-10 in Western Conference games this season, while the Blazers have gone 16-12 against Western Conference opponents.
The Blazers will be shorthanded Tuesday night.
The team announced Monday afternoon that starting center Jusuf Nurkić will miss Tuesday's game in Los Angeles due to right knee inflammation.
Nurkić had returned to the lineup, playing in five games, after missing two months due to a fractured right wrist that needed surgery to repair. He also dealt with a calf strain following his final weeks of rehab on his wrist.
Derrick Jones Jr. (right quad contusion) is listed as probable.
For the Clippers, Patrick Beverley (right knee; soreness) is questionable; Serge Ibaka (lower back; tightness) is out vs. the Blazers.
Ahead of Tuesday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes discussed how Coach Terry Stotts believes the Blazers are heading in the right direction:
The Portland Trail Blazers head into a more difficult part of their schedule Tuesday night in Los Angeles when they take on the Clippers.
Playing a major part of the first half of the season without injured Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum, the Trail Blazers managed to climb to sixth in the tough Western Conference.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that Portland is 1-6 against the five teams ahead of it. The Clippers and Utah Jazz are the next two games – both on the road – for the Trail Blazers.
Is this team, with Nurkic and McCollum back in action, ready for the challenges ahead?
“We’ve got a lot of stuff we need to work on to get more familiar with each other,” McCollum said. “Obviously, getting Nurk back. Myself, I’m 10 games in now, Norm’s three, four or five games in, so we're still adjusting.
“But we have time to kind of figure it out and luckily, we're in a position where we're in the playoffs and we could move up based on how we perform. So, I'm looking forward to seeing how we come along.
“But the regular season is the regular season. Playoffs are a completely different focus. A completely different attention to detail and I'm looking forward to seeing how we fare.”
Read more here.
The Blazers are 6-point underdogs against the Clippers, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s matchup –
- Damian Lillard added 20 points (3-14 FG, 14-15 FT), four rebounds, five assists and one steal against the Clippers on Dec. 30. Lillard recorded a career-high 18 boards against the Clippers on march 4, 2015 in Los Angeles.
- Carmelo Anthony had 15 points (3-5 FG, 9-10 FT), five rebounds and two assists at the Clippers on Dec. 30. Anthony has scored exactly 1,000 career points against the Clippers over 44 games. Anthony has scored at least 1,000 points against five teams (CHI, MIL, MIN, UTA).
- Kawhi Leonard has scored at least 27 points in four of his last five games against the Trail Blazers.
- Paul George scored 23 points on 8-of-15 from the field (4-9 3-PT, 3-4 FT), to go with 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals, good for one of his five double-doubles this season. George made a career-high 17 free-throws against Portland on March 7, 2019.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: +6 (-110) – Clippers -6 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Tuesday, April 6
Where: Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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