Dallas Mavericks

With the Trail Blazers, you're "either injured or sick"-- and you can't catch a break

With the Trail Blazers, you're "either injured or sick"-- and you can't catch a break

DALLAS – How many times during this Trail Blazers season have people thought to themselves – not another one!?

Too many.

Most Trail Blazers fans have probably lost count, or at least, want to lose count.  

Between injuries and illnesses, the Blazers have dealt with some major adversity through their first 43 games.

During Blazers head coach Terry Stotts’ postgame interview in Dallas Friday night, after Portland lost to the Mavericks 120-112, Stotts started off with this statement:

“It seems like every time we play Dallas, we end up having one of these games. Very competitive, teams get leads, and then the other team comes back. Kind of what happened tonight.” 

But, that opening statement could’ve easily sounded like this:

“It seems like every time we play Dallas, we end up getting injured.” 

Friday night, CJ McCollum was the latest Trail Blazers to suffer an injury. McCollum left the game early in the second quarter due to a left ankle sprain.

The Blazers starting shooting guard received treatment in the locker room during the rest of the game. He said he couldn’t tell the severity of the injury in comparison to other times he has rolled his ankle, saying that, “usually the second day is the worst.”

McCollum added, “we’ll have to see how it feels tomorrow. I’ll get some treatment tonight, try to compress it and see how it feels.”

When losing McCollum’s scoring and play-making ability, Damian Lillard, who had a team-high 34 points in the loss, felt it was necessary to take over. But, not just in the scoring department-- overall as a leader, as well.

“I think that means our ball movement has to be better, and even smarter. Guys got to come in and be aggressive collectively to make up for that loss. Obviously, naturally, I just feel like I have to level up my play as well,” Lillard said.

So, for the people at home who have lost count…

The Blazers are now without:

Jusuf Nurkic (left leg fracture)

Rodney Hood (left ruptured Achilles tendon)

Zach Collins (left shoulder dislocation),

Skal Labissiere (left knee inflammation)

Pau Gasol (left team to focus on his rehab of left foot fracture)

And remember, Collins dislocated his shoulder in Dallas in the third game of the season.

Then CJ McCollum, Hassan Whiteside, Damian Lillard and Gary Trent, Jr. have all been sick.

They can't catch a break.

Now, how the are Blazers coping with getting dealt another injury?

Lillard know as the team captain, he has to make sure this squad is staying positive. 

There’s no reason for us to point out the obvious – we know we’re facing injuries, but the games continue, the season goes on. So, I think it only does something negative for our mentality if we’re looking at like ‘we’ve got injuries,’ and looking for it as a crutch.  -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard

That doesn’t mean Lillard hasn’t been frustrating with how the season has played out and having to deal with all the injuries.

“I mean, it sucks,” Lillard said. “We’ve been experiencing it all season long. Coming into the season without Nurk and then the last time we was here losing Zach. And then Rodney goes down, and then Skal, we just constantly got guys dropping.”

Lillard was not only trying to pick up the slack with McCollum out, but he was also dealing with an upper respiratory infection, something that has made its way around the team.

As Lillard sat there talking with the media after the game, he had three things in his locker that aren’t usually there: An inhaler, a bottle of Emergen-C, and what looked like a packet of some type of cold medication.

Lillard wasn’t the only one trying to shake this nasty cold. Gary Trent Jr. was forced to leave the game early in the fourth quarter due to illness. He then received an IV after the game.  

In Friday’s losing effort, Hassan Whiteside had another strong performance with 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting to go along with his 18 rebounds and five blocks.

Whiteside doesn’t recall ever being on team that has had to battle through this many ailments and injuries.

“I’ve never dealt with a team with this many injuries and illnesses, it’s crazy,” Whiteside said. “It’s tough… It’s a very talented team. I just hate that fans and the organization can’t see it healthy.”

While the newest Trail Blazer Carmelo Anthony, added,

“It’s very unfortunate. If you’re not injured, you’re sick – it seems like that’s what’s going on with us right now. In sports, it’s next man up, whoever is next – gotta be ready.”

As the next man or in the Blazers case right now, the next men stay ready; McCollum is ready to “battle” through his ankle injury.

“It’s tough, it’s tough. Injuries are a part of the game obviously. It’s unfortunate that I was next up on the list, but I just have to try to battle and fight through it. This was a winnable game. Tonight, we played well and fought hard but came up short, so it’s back to the drawing board to get ready for tomorrow [in Oklahoma City].”

The Trail Blazers and Thunder tip-off at 6:00pm PT, just 23 and a half hours after Friday’s night start time in Dallas. 

Gary Trent, Jr. getting the worst of Trail Blazers' illness

Gary Trent, Jr. getting the worst of Trail Blazers' illness

DALLAS – It was a very unusual scene in Dallas Friday night. 

Following the Trail Blazers 120-112 loss to the Mavericks, two members of the Dallas Fire & Rescue team were seen directly outside of the Blazers locker room in a separate room that is designated for players to receive treatment.  

The only real noise heard throughout the extremely small visiting locker room was that of coughing.

But, it became apparent after surveying the locker room that Gary Trent, Jr. was the player in the treatment room.

The back-up shooting guard left Friday’s game at the 10:05 mark of the fourth quarter when he went back to the locker room with assistant athletic trainer Jessica Cohen.

Just before leaving the game, Trent Jr. was seen coughing and holding his chest on the bench.

The Trail Blazers announced midway through the fourth quarter that he would not return to the game due to an illness.

Heading into Friday’s game, Trent Jr. was not listed on the injury report with any type of illness; however, his teammate Damian Lillard was the latest player to be listed as questionable with an upper respiratory infection. Both CJ McCollum and Hassan Whiteside have already caught the bug and have also missed one game each due to the illness.

It was after midnight in Dallas before Trent Jr. made his way out of the treatment room.

Everyone besides Trent Jr. and Blazers head coach Terry Stotts had left the arena.

After talking with Trent Jr., it’s apparent he's got something more than what's going around this Trail Blazers team.

This is a brutal bug.

Trent Jr. looked lethargic as he walked slowly down the hallway. Weak.

He looked as if he was going to fall asleep before he got to the team bus, but, despite not having much energy, he gave an update on his health.

He was gracious enough to talk with NBCSNW as he walked to the team bus.

I just had it [for] a day or two. The team, everybody’s been sick here and there, so I guess it just caught me, but I just got an IV and [I'll] get some rest, I’ll be fine.  – Trail Blazers shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. said postgame

The main issue for Trent Jr. and the rest of the Blazers right now is they are now on their way to Oklahoma City to play in the second leg of a back-to-back. 

Trail Blazers PR said there will be an update on Trent Jr. at 1pm CT Saturday when the team is required to provide injury updates.

While Trent Jr. was receiving an IV postgame, CJ McCollum was talking with the media about his left ankle sprain.  

McCollum says he isn’t sure the severity of his ankle, which he rolled during the second quarter of Friday’s loss.

“I was getting treatment during the game. It’s wrapped up. I’m not sure… Usually the second day is the worst, so we’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” McCollum said.

There also won’t be an update on McCollum until Saturday afternoon.

Between injuries and illnesses, this team is focusing on sticking together.

“Some teams go through a lot of things throughout the year, so we’re just going to show how battle tested we are, how good we can be, when things are going down like this – players are getting hurt, getting sick, we’ve just got to stay together, fight together, and it will all work out,” Trent Jr. said.

With is glazed over eyes, Trent Jr. remains positive.

That's all this team feels like they can do at this point: Rest, cold medication, and stay positive. 

Sick, wounded Trail Blazers buried under a pile of three-point field goals

Sick, wounded Trail Blazers buried under a pile of three-point field goals

The Trail Blazers were adding 2+2 most of the game Friday night. The Mavericks were multiplying by 3. Portland shot 51.8 percent from the field against Dallas but were outdone by higher mathematics in a 120-112 loss at Dallas.

The Mavs made only 43.8 percent of their shots from the floor. But unfortunately for Portland, a furious third and fourth-quarter comeback fell short because Dallas made 20 three-point shots to just nine for Portland. That's giving up 33 points from behind the arc -- way too many for the wounded Trail Blazers to overcome. It didn't help, of course, that CJ McCollum played only 11 minutes after suffering what appeared to be an ankle sprain and Gary Trent had to return to the locker room in the fourth after feeling sick.

On top of that, Damian Lillard, who led the Blazers with 34 points and 10 assists, came into the game fighting the team's ever-present upper-respiratory illness and had to play 40 minutes. Hassan Whiteside made nine of his 10 shots, had 18 rebounds, 21 points and five blocks.

"We came out and had a good start of the game," Lillard said. "The amount of fight it took to make it a game, we ran out of gas at the end. Obviously, anytime you are a little bit sick it's going to have an affect on you on the floor. I ran out of gas at the end."

This loss was almost entirely the result of the lack of long-distance firepower -- and how well Dallas shot from long range. Portland outscored Dallas a whopping 62-30 in the paint, but you can't multiply any of those points in the paint by three.

After trailing by 17 points late in the third quarter, Portland cut the lead to four halfway through the fourth quarter and trailed by only six with 3:41 left. But the Blazers got nothing after that but a meaningless three-pointer by Anfernee Simons with 26.2 seconds to go. But the strange thing was, Dallas scored only five during that span.

The Blazers were 1-6 from the floor with two turnovers over that disastrous final 3:41.

And this beaten-up bunch gets no rest, as a Saturday night contest in Oklahoma City is at hand.

Instant Analysis: Trail Blazers lose McCollum to ankle sprain, lose to Mavs

Instant Analysis: Trail Blazers lose McCollum to ankle sprain, lose to Mavs

DALLAS – It looked as though the Trail Blazers had some carryover from Wednesday’s win over the Houston Rockets, as

Portland jumped out to a 12-2 lead over the Dallas Mavericks Friday.

Dallas started the game 0-for-5.  

It wasn’t until four minutes into the game that the Mavs hit their first field goal when Luka Doncic drained a 27-foot three-pointer.

Despite Portland losing its starting shooting guard to an ankle injury early in the second quarter, the Blazers were down single digits heading into the final period.

It came down to the wire, but with timely stops and big-time threes, the Mavs were able to hold off the Blazers.

FINAL BOX SCORE: MAVERICKS 120, TRAIL BLAZERS 112 

Here are three quick takeaways from Friday’s loss

1. McCollum leaves game with ankle sprain

Portland was forced to call a timeout at the 7:53 mark of the second quarter following CJ McCollum's hard take to the basket.

McCollum appeared to step on Mavericks' power forward Max Kleber’s right foot during his attempted lay-in at the 8:04 mark of the quarter.

 

Shortly after McCollum went back to the locker room with the team’s trainers, Blazers PR announced he would not return to the game due to a left ankle sprain. McCollum played just 12 minutes.  

Blazers backup guard Gary Trent Jr. also left the game early in the fourth quarter. The reason was not immediately known.

2.  Lillard plays through it

Damian Lillard was listed as questionable before the game tipped off with an upper respiratory infection.

But, it was hard to tell Lillard was dealing with the cold that has been going around the Blazers locker room.

The Trail Blazers All-Star point guard notched 11 points in the first 12 minutes of action. Lillard had it going from deep and down low. Heading into the fourth quarter, Lillard was 12-for-19 from the field with 32 points.   

3.  Doncic being Doncic

Just as Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said during his pregame interview, everything for the Mavs goes through Luka Doncic. The second-year player had his way from downtown against the Blazers.

Doncic started the game, attacking the rim, which then almost always resulted in him finding a teammate open under the hoop. He was on fire from deep too. He hit his first four three-point attempts and went 8-of-12 for the game.

Dallas fans on the concourse were proudly chanting “All-Star Luka” during halftime when Doncic had already recorded 23 points and five assists.

With Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness) and Ryan Broekhoff (left fibula fracture) both out against the Blazers, it was Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. who picked up the slack on offense.

Up Next: Portland will play in its second leg of this current back-to-back when the Blazers visit Oklahoma City on Saturday. The Blazers and Thunder tip-off at 6:00p.m. PT.

Check back throughout tonight and tomorrow for more articles and videos from the players!

Gary Trent Jr. heads to locker room, leaves game early in the 4th

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Gary Trent Jr. heads to locker room, leaves game early in the 4th

DALLAS – During the Trail Blazers timeout taken at the 10:05 mark of the fourth quarter in Dallas, backup guard Gary Trent Jr. headed back to the Blazers locker room with assistant athletic trainer Jessica Cohen.

Trent was seen with his head down and coughing on the bench before heading to the locker room, holding his chest.

The reason for Trent Jr. leaving the game is unknown at this time, although pregame, Trail Blazers assistant Jim Moran was heard by NBCSNW asking Trent, "Are you ok?"

Trent, Jr. was not listed on the injury report heading into the game.

With the upper respiratory infection being passed around the team, it's not inconceivable to believe Trent might be affected. 

The second-year player recorded three points and two steals in 22 minutes of work.

He has not returned from the locker room as of the 3:09 mark of the fourth quarter.

This post will be updated as soon as more information is made available. 

Damian Lillard joins Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony in rarefied air

Damian Lillard joins Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony in rarefied air

Despite playing with an upper respiratory infection, Damian Lillard had an impressive first half against the Mavericks on Friday night in Dallas.

He was hitting deep threes, driving for buckets, and finding teammates for easy assists.

He ended that half with 25 points and four assists. 

Not only was it a great half of basketball for the Trail Blazers star, but it also happened to be historic. 

With 2:29 left in the second quarter, Lillard drove to the basket and scored his 21st point of the game.

It also happened to give him 14,000 points for his career.

Scoring 14,000 points is monumental enough. To do it in just eight seasons is incredible... and rare.

Lillard now sits with some elite company. There are only four active players in the NBA that have scored 14,000 points in just eight seasons: Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, and now Lillard. 

That is quite the Mt. Rushmore. Three sure-fire Hall of Famers, with Lillard well on his way to joining them.

Lillard wasn't the only Blazers setting records on this night. Teammate Carmelo Anthony also scored the 26,000th point of his career, making him just the 18th player in NBA history to meet that mark. 

WATCH: CJ McCollum goes down in Dallas with ankle injury, will not return

WATCH: CJ McCollum goes down in Dallas with ankle injury, will not return

DALLAS – The Portland Trail Blazers have announced that CJ McCollum will not return to tonight's game versus the Mavericks due to a left ankle sprain. 

The Trail Blazers called a timeout at the 7:53 mark of the second quarter following McCollum's hard take to the basket.

After McCollum attempted the lay-in, he was seen hobbling on his left ankle. McCollum appeared to step on Mavericks power forward Max Kleber’s right foot.

McCollum headed to the locker with the team’s trainers.

Damian Lillard entered the game for McCollum.

The Trail Blazers starting shooting guard scored four points to go along with two assists in 12 minutes of play.

McCollum becomes the second Trail Blazers starter to suffer a significant injury in Dallas this season. 

Zach Collins dislocated his shoulder in Dallas at the beginning of the season, which led to surgery. 

We'll have more on CJ's injury after the game. Stay tuned!

 

Carmelo Anthony reaches yet another monumental NBA milestone

Carmelo Anthony reaches yet another monumental NBA milestone

DALLAS – Add another impressive feat to the ongoing list of accomplishments for Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony.

Melo has now scored 450 points as a Trail Blazers and that mark mean he has now adding his name to the 26,000-career points list.

The 35-year-old is the 18th NBA player in history to reach the 26k-point mark.

Here’s a look at the NBA's all-time scoring list:

 

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387
  2. Karl Malone 36,928
  3. Kobe Bryant 33,643
  4. LeBron James 33,532
  5. Michael Jordan 32,292
  6. Dirk Nowitzki 31,560
  7. Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
  8. Shaquille O’Neal 28,596
  9. Moses Malone 27,409
  10. Elvin Hayes 27,313
  11. Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946
  12. Oscar Robertson 26,710
  13. Dominique Wilkins 26,668
  14. Tim Duncan 26,496
  15. Paul Pierce 26,397
  16. John Havlicek 26,395
  17. Kevin Garnett 26,071
  18. Carmelo Anthony 26,001+

With Melo averaging over 16 points per game this season, he stands a good chance of reaching No.13 by end of the season, which would pass Garnett, Havlicek, Pierce, Duncan and Wilkins.

The future first ballot Hall-Of-Famer continues to move his way up the ladder and past some elite company. 

 

 

Trail Blazers Pregame Notebook: Damian Lillard WILL PLAY tonight vs. Dallas

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Trail Blazers Pregame Notebook: Damian Lillard WILL PLAY tonight vs. Dallas

DALLAS -- Before the Trail Blazers and Mavericks tip-off at 6:30p.m. PT tonight on NBC Sports Northwest and on the 'MyTeams' App, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts discussed how everything for Dallas goes through Luka Doncic.

But, don’t expect the Trail Blazers to double Doncic, and put as much focus on him like the Blazers defended James Harden in Wednesday’s win over the Rockets.

“They’re different players. I don’t know if the same tactics against him would be as successful against him versus Harden,” Stotts said.

Coach Stotts also added that this is a Dallas team who really spaces the floor well, but also crashes the boards hard adding, “one thing that gets overlooked is their offensive rebounding.”  

As for Damian Lillard (upper respiratory illness), who was listed as questionable this afternoon, said he will play tonight in Dallas. 

HEAR FROM COACH STOTTS HERE:

 

BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Damian Lillard (upper respiratory illness) and Mario Hezonja (lower back contusion) are available for tonight's game.

 

MAVERICKS INJURY REPORT:

Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness) and Ryan Broekhoff (left fibula fracture) are out.

STANDOUT GAME NOTES:

-- Friday’s game is the second of four meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Mavericks this season. Portland leads the season series, 1-0.

-- LAST MEETING: The Trail Blazers beat the Mavericks in Dallas on Oct. 27, 121-119. CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 35 points (13- 26 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 8-8 FT) to go with six rebounds, four assists and two steals while Kristaps Porzingis paced the Mavericks with 32 points (11-23 FG, 3-10 3-PT, 7-10 FT), nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

-- Portland has shot at least 45.0% from the field in nine of their last 10 games against the Mavericks. The Trail Blazers shot 51.7% from the field and 40.9% from the three-point line at Dallas on Oct. 27.

-- Damian Lillard had 28 points (10-20 FG, 1-7 3-PT, 7-9 FT), three rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block at Dallas on Oct. 27. Lillard has scored at least 28 points in each of his last nine games against Dallas.

Trail Blazers announce Damian Lillard is questionable for tonight's game in Dallas

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Trail Blazers announce Damian Lillard is questionable for tonight's game in Dallas

Tonight in Dallas, the Trail Blazers will play in their first leg of a back-to-back.

Portland announced nearly four hours before tip-off between the Blazers and Mavericks that Damian Lillard is now questionable for tonight’s game due to an upper respiratory infection.

This is now the third Trail Blazer who has caught a nasty cold.

Both CJ McCollum and Hassan Whiteside have missed one game each with upper respiratory infections.

Lillard and the Blazers are coming off a 117-107 win Wednesday night over the Rockets in the first game of their current three-game road trip.

Portland will wrap-up the trip tomorrow night in Oklahoma City.

Keep it locked here at NBCSNW for the latest developments on Lillard and his availability for tonight’s game.