Trail Blazers rookie Nassir Little cleared to play after suffering concussion

Trail Blazers rookie Nassir Little cleared to play after suffering concussion

Trail Blazers rookie forward Nassir Little will see his first action Tuesday vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Trail Blazers final scrimmage after being sidelined with a concussion. 

Head coach Terry Stotts announced the news on Rip City Mornings with Dan Sheldon and Nigel Burton. 

Little entered concussion protocol on July 20 after hitting his head on the court during practice. 

This season, Little has appeared in 48 games, starting five. He's averaged 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 11.9 minutes.

Little's workload will be light, but he could see more action with Rodney Hood sidelined with an Achilles injury and Trevor Ariza opting out of playing in the NBA's return for personal reasons. Gary Trent and Mario Hezonja will be competing for the primary backup duties at small forward behind Carmelo Anthony.

The Trail Blazers final scrimmage tips off at 3pm, with coverage beginning at 2:30pm on NBCSNW. 

Find out how to watch and stream here!

[Listen to the latest Talking’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Trail Blazers final three games a "must-win" after loss to Clippers

Trail Blazers final three games a "must-win" after loss to Clippers

Saturday’s game was within reach for the Trail Blazers, but after not executing down the stretch, the Clippers finished off the Blazers 122-117.  

There’s no doubt about it— Saturday’s game hurt.

It was a chippy one, too, with the Clippers’ bench taunting Damian Lillard in a rare occasion where the Trail Blazers point guard didn’t come up with Lillard Time.  

With Saturday's loss, the Blazers are now 1.5 games back of the eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies and just 0.5 game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs to keep hold of that ninth spot out West.

“We didn’t make the plays at either end to win that game [down the stretch],” Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said in his initial postgame thoughts.

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon with special guest Richard Jefferson].

Portland wasn’t able to get enough stops down the stretch couple that with costly fouls and Damian Lillard missing a pair of free throws with 18.6 seconds left on the clock, the Blazers loss stings now that Portland has its eyes set on that eighth seed, not ninth.

In our huddle, in our locker room we saying let’s go win all three because we trying to get a chance at the eight spot. We trying to track down Memphis so that’s what we looking at and we also know that other teams are playing well. You don’t know who is going to be playing for some of the teams that they have to play, so we’ve got to have the mindset of just going out there to win all three.  -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard

McCollum felt the way that many did around Rip City -- he was shocked Lillard missed both free throws; however, just like McCollum said, Saturday’s game shouldn’t have come down to those points at the charity stripe.  

“Very surprised,” McCollum said postgame. “But just like I told him, it shouldn’t even have come down to that. We’ve got to do a better job of executing and putting them away earlier. Especially, going against most of their second-unit guys -- we’ve got to do a better job.”

McCollum also added that with the Blazers playing for a chance to make the playoffs, he thinks “every game is a must-win, especially with just three games remaining.”

The Blazers know they don't have time to hang their heads. 

Coach Stotts discussed the team's quick turnaround with Sunday’s game against the 76ers tipping off at 3:30pm PT. 

The Sixers are a challenge whether it’s a back-to-back or not. This loss today really hurt. So, hopefully we have the mindset of how important that game is tomorrow, but… look – they’re great athletes, we play back-to-backs during the regular season, so I don’t think the fact that it’s a back-to-back will matter because we know how important it is.  -- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

While McCollum explained how much Saturday’s game stings, but that the Blazers can learn from this one.

A game that we should’ve won, let it slip through our hands. Now we gotta be better down the stretch with these last three games remaining. -- Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum

Portland will get a break Saturday though. Ben Simmons (left knee; patella subluxation) is out with looming knee procedure. The Sixers have also listed Glenn Robinson III (left hip; pointer) as questionable.

The Trail Blazers will now face the Sixers Sunday, the Mavericks Tuesday, and then round out their seeding games on Thursday with a matchup against the Nets.

Rip City knows that Lillard wants another crack at finishing off a team in the bubble and he most likely will get that shot. 

Damian Lillard & Paul George are feuding on social media after taunting

Damian Lillard & Paul George are feuding on social media after taunting

There was plenty of trashing talking during the Blazers-Clippers game Saturday.

Gary Trent Jr. was jawing at Paul George.

Damian Lillard and Patrick Beverley, who sat out of Saturday’s game, exchanged words multiple times.

And now, following the Clippers 122-1117 victory over the Blazers, Lillard and Paul George are continuing to have words for each other after the two left the arena.

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon with special guest Richard Jefferson].

Lillard, during his postgame interview, had plenty to say about Beverley and George taunting him with the tapping of the wrist and waving goodbye following his pair of missed free throws in crunch time.

PG did the wave because he was also surprised because he experienced being waved at last year… Let me say this, for one, I knew what happened. I expect myself to make those free throws and I didn’t when my team needed it, which was a failure for me that I can accept, but asking me about Patrick Beverley who I sent him home before at the end of a game. Paul George got sent home by me last year in the playoffs. So they know. The reason they reacting like that is because what they expect from me, which is a sign of respect and it just shows what I’ve done at a high clip more times than not. So, I’m not offended by it. If anything it should just tell you how much it hurt them to go through what I put them through in those situations previously. -- Damian Lillard

While George had this to say about the nature of Saturday’s game during his postgame interview:

“It’s competition,” George said. “It’s part of the game – it’s as simple as that. It’s a competition and some people can play and talk and some people can’t.”

Hmmm.... Some people can't, PG?

And, it didn’t stop there.

George had more to say to Lillard on social media after the game.

And you getting sent home this year. Respect – Paul George replying to a Bleacher Report Instagram post on Lillard’s postgame comments

To which Lillard responded with:

Keep switching teams… running from the grind. You boys is chumps. – Damian Lillard replying to Paul George on Instagram

And now, Beverley is getting in on the social media fun basically telling the Blazers to have fun on their upcoming vacation. 

As one would expect, NBA players and fans are grabbing their popcorn after this game.

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We know what time it is

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Damian Lillard comes up short late in a game -- twice -- how often does that happen?

Damian Lillard comes up short late in a game -- twice -- how often does that happen?

Damian Lillard tried all day to get to the foul line. He took 20 shots without getting a free throw. But then, when he had two of them with 18.6 seconds to play, his team down by a point and the game on the line, he missed them both.

That was unbelievable. 

As was the idea that the Trail Blazers were even in that spot. Portland led by five with 1:36 to go and the Clippers were playing with just one starter on the floor.

Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell didn’t even suit up. Paul George and Lou Williams did not take the floor down the stretch.

In the midst of a fight for the Nos. 8 and 9 spots in the Western Conference, the Trail Blazers were handed a gift.

And declined it, losing to Los Angeles 122-117.

Nobody could quite believe Lillard missed both free throws.

“Very surprised,” CJ McCollum said. “But just like I told him, it shouldn’t even have come down to that. We’ve got to do a better job of executing and putting them away earlier. Especially, going against most of their second-unit guys -- we’ve got to do a better job.”

The Trail Blazers have fallen into a pattern in these seeding games of relying on a spectacular offense that has covered for a leaky defense. But in the late going of this game, Portland didn’t run its offense efficiently, got poor shots as a result, and didn’t get stops or committed fouls at the defensive end.

“I was disappointed with both ends in the last few minutes,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “Defensively, we didn’t move around. Offensively, we didn’t get the shots we wanted, didn’t move the ball as well as we needed to and the shots we did get, we didn’t make.”

Lillard had given Portland a two-point lead with 41.2 seconds to go with a layup but the Clippers hijacked it at 26.1 with a three by Rodney McGruder -- a 27 percent three-point shooter for the season.

That set up Lillard’s empty trip to the free-throw line.

“They made the plays that we didn’t make,” Lillard said. “Every breakdown on the defensive end, they made us pay for it. They made shots, got rebounds and they got second and third opportunities.

“And then at our offensive end, we just didn’t execute very well. Once I got to the line, down one, I felt good about that, I said, ‘OK, we’re going to be up one.’ Come down, get a stop and then it’s a free-throw game.

“Left the first one short. And then left another one short. Sometimes, I guess that has to happen. Particularly at the end of the game, I always feel like I’m going to come up big. I’ve experienced so many of those moments. I guess sometimes you come up short.

“I left two free throws short. We lost a game we really needed to win and we’ve got another one tomorrow (against the Philadelphia 76ers).”

Both Beverley and George taunted Lillard at the end of the game.

“I didn’t see it, but I heard about it,” Lillard said. “That just shows what they expect from me down the stretch. They know what I do. (Beverley) saw it first hand when I was a second-year player and he was at Houston. I’m sure he has a great memory of that.

“PG had to wave, because he also was surprised because of what he experienced at the end of a game last year. Let me just say this, for one -- I know what happened. I expect myself to make those free throws. And I didn’t. The team needed it, which was a failure for me that I can accept.

“Asking me about Patrick Beverley, who I sent him home before at the end of a game, Paul George got sent home by me at the end of the playoffs. So they know their reaction is a sign of respect for me from what they expect from me at the end of a game.
“It just shows what I’ve done at a high clip more times than not. If anything, it should tell you how much it hurt them to know what I put them through in those situations.”

And don’t expect this to impact Lillard’s confidence level in similar situations.

“I’ve had some moments in my career when I was expected to do something at the end of the game and I didn’t,” he said “I don’t see myself as somebody who is going to hold onto it. I’m a shooter. I’ve been in these situations a lot and had some success. I’m in this situation all the time. It isn’t going to discourage me or make me any less confident. If anything, I’m looking at it like the next time, it’s going to go the other way,

“It bothers me. It hurts, because it was a game we would have loved to have. But as far as being on the floor and doing what I do, it won’t affect me at all.”

Damian Lillard has perfect clap back to Patrick Beverley, Clippers taunting

Damian Lillard has perfect clap back to Patrick Beverley, Clippers taunting

The tapping of the wrist...

The wave...

The NBA world knows that in crunch time it can always be Lillard Time. 

Trail Blazers five-time All-Star Damian Lillard has finished off teams in many memorable ways.

And thus, to have Lillard miss two free throws with 18.6 seconds remaining against the LA Clippers Saturday, many were stunned by the rare nature of Lillard missing down the stretch.

But for the Clippers, LA had fun taunting Lillard. Patrick Beverley, who sat out of Saturday’s game with a left calf strain, tapped his wrist loudly and yelled out "DOLLA Time" from the bench after Lillard missed the pair of clutch free throws.

Beverley has seen ‘Lillard Time’ first-hand while in Houston when the Trail Blazers had eliminated the Rockets from the first round thanks to Lillard’s “.9” shot back on May 2, 2014.

Lillard mentioned just that postgame.  

The Trail Blazers point guard said he didn’t see Beverley’s antics on the bench, but he heard about it.

After I missed the first one, I heard them over there yelling, I just think, to me that just shows what they expect from me down the stretch. They know what I do and he saw it firsthand when I was a second year player when he was in Houston, so I’m sure he has a great memory of that, which is why that drew that type of reaction from him when he saw me come up short at the end of the game. To me that’s all that says.  -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard 

But things really started earlier between Lillard and Beverley on Saturday. Lillard hit a step-back three-pointer late in the first quarter, turned to Beverley on the bench and mouthed: “I want you out here.” 

[Listen to the Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Richard Jefferson].

And, it wasn’t just Beverley getting in on the trash talking following Lillard’s free throws. Paul George also got in on the action.

PG13 was seen ‘waving' after Lillard’s missed free throws.  

Of course, George infamously called Lillard’s series clinching three over PG's extended arm in the Blazers and Thunder Western Conference semifinals series in 2019, 'a bad shot,' which is also known as The Wave since that was Lillard’s reaction immediately following that game-winner. 

PG did the wave because he was also surprised because he experienced being waved at last year… Let me say this, for one, I knew what happened. I expect myself to make those free throws and I didn’t when my team needed it, which was a failure for me that I can accept, but asking me about Patrick Beverley who I sent him home before at the end of a game. Paul George got sent home by me last year in the playoffs. So they know. The reason they reacting like that is because what they expect from me, which is a sign of respect and it just shows what I’ve done at a high clip more times than not. So, I’m not offended by it. If anything it should just tell you how much it hurt them to go through what I put them through in those situations previously. -- Damian Lillard

George had more to say to Lillard on social media after the game.

And you getting sent home this year. Respect – Paul George replying to a Bleacher Report Instagram post on Lillard’s postgame comments

BUT, it looks like Lillard might get the last word...

Of course, Lillard’s postgame response about Beverely trash-talking, tapping his wrist, and PG13 waving goodbye to the Blazers got social media talking as well:

Just as Lillard’s free throws clanked off the front of the iron, the Trail Blazers came up short, 122-117 to the Clippers Saturday.

Portland and Lillard have no time to hang their heads as the Blazers face the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday afternoon.

It seems Lillard Time will have to wait until later in the NBA restart.

Instant Analysis: Trail Blazers can't hold off Clippers in offensive clinic

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Instant Analysis: Trail Blazers can't hold off Clippers in offensive clinic

If you love a ton of scoring, you’d love this game!

The Portland Trail Blazers squared off against the Los Angeles Clippers who decided to rest their MVP Saturday morning.

The Clippers initially listed Patrick Beverley (left calf; strain) and Montrezl Harrell (not with the team) as out for Saturday's game. L.A. then added Kawhi Leonard to the injury list Saturday morning citing left knee soreness and load management. For the Blazers, Portland was without Hassan Whiteside (left hip strain).  

Despite an unusually early 1:00p.m. Orlando time tip-off, the Blazers got off to a quick start. Portland jumped out to a 15-8 lead thanks to their ball movement and player movement. Portland’s two starting 7-footers, Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, got things rolling from deep as both bigs hit from long distance in the first quarter.  

Lou Williams gave the Clippers instant offense off the bench. In his first seven minutes, he led all Clippers at the end of the first 12 minutes with 12 points.

At the end of the first quarter, the Blazers held a 37-34 lead.

With Saturday’s game the start of back-to-back for Portland, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts extended his rotation and did so early on. For the first time since the NBA restart, Damian Lillard was the only starter on the floor near the end of the first quarter. Nine Blazers saw significant minutes in this one and made big contributions, particularly early on.

In Saturday's high scoring game, the Blazers took a 75-69 lead at halftime.

Paul George led the charge on both ends for L.A. George finished with 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting, despite the Blazers sending two players at him. He also had two steals on the day.  

With both teams exchanging buckets in the third, the Clippers stayed within striking distance. L.A. was down 96-95 heading into the final period.

FINAL BOX SCORE: CLIPPERS 122, TRAIL BLAZERS 117

Here are three quick takeaways from Portland's fifth seeding game from our NBC Sports NW team:

Dwight Jaynes, Insider:   

The wrong time to give away a game. One of the worst losses of the Stotts era. Dame missing two was hard to believe.

Jamie Hudson, Reporter

Since the Blazers and Clippers are two of the best three-point shooting teams in the bubble, we knew this had the possibility of being a very high-scoring one. And it didn’t disappoint. At the break, both teams were shooting around 60 percent from the field and over 50 percent from three. With no Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell or Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers were clearly missing their top defensive players.

Damian Lillard did a little bit of everything on the offensive end as he continued to put the team on his back, per usual. But in the restart, it’s been obvious that Lillard now sees the No. 8 seed as a reality and he’s ready to secure that play-in spot.

While Gary Trent Jr. continued his hot shooting from three. But what fans probably enjoyed even more than that was watching Trent Jr. get under Paul George’s skin at the other end.

It also should be noted that the Blazers' ball movement was on point. Whether it was Jusuf Nurkic finding Lillard or CJ McCollum finding Nurkic, Portland was sharing the wealth Saturday. The Blazers hot shooting slowed down in the second half. Plus they couldn't get enough stops down the stretch or convert at the line in crunch time. 

Chris Burkhardt, Reporter/Producer 

Just Be Great! Win, lose, it doesn't matter, the rise of Gary Trent Jr. this season has been remarkable. I don't think fans outside the Northwest understand why Rip City has fallen in love with Trent Jr.

Not since Wes Matthews went down with an achilles injury in 2015, have the Blazers had a true three and D guy. Allen Crabbe tried. Moe Harkless tried. Al-Farouq Aminu tried. Numerous others have tried, but none were truly what Portland needed.

But this season, and specifically in the bubble, Trent Jr. has been that guy. It doesn't matter who is guarding him, or who he is guarding, Trent is gonna bring it.

Portland may be watching the birth of a star in the making right now, and if not, at least this ride is a fun one to be on.

[Richard Jefferson joined host Channing Frye on the Talkin' Blazers Podcast this week. Listen here]: 

Up Next: The Trail Blazers take on the Philadelphia 76ers at 3:30 p.m. (PT) in Portland’s second night of a back-to-back this weekend. Catch all the action on NBC Sports Northwest and stream the game on the MyTeams app.

Also, be sure to check back throughout the rest of the day and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players!

Trail Blazers continue to be a problem, are punking Paul George

Trail Blazers continue to be a problem, are punking Paul George

There’s just something about whenever the Portland Trail Blazers face a team Paul George is on. We can’t put our finger on it…

*1.3 seconds later

Oh yeah, that “bad shot” last season in Game 5 of the playoff series vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder.

We all know about Dame's "bad shot" and the wave, but the Trail Blazers seem to have it out for Paul George no matter what team PG13 is on.

Dame destroyed the OKC era that featured George and Russell Westbrook with that game-winner that ultimately sent George to the Los Angeles Clippers.

New team, same PG13 trolling.

The Trail Blazers are currently facing the Clippers on NBC Sports Northwest in Portland’s quest for the eight seed in the Western Conference. 

And let’s just say, punking Paul George is a full team affair:

Wenyen Gabriel, Gary Trent, Jr, and Anfernee Simons have now gotten in on the action. 

And social media is LOVING IT!

Stream the game here or download the MyTeams app!

Trail Blazers Injury Update: Hassan Whiteside is OUT vs. Clippers

Trail Blazers Injury Update: Hassan Whiteside is OUT vs. Clippers

Update at 8:35a.m. on Saturday: Hassan Whiteside (left hip strain) is out for today’s game vs. the LA Clippers.

---

Trail Blazers backup center Hassan Whiteside was  initially listed as doubtful for Saturday's game vs. the LA Clippers.

Whiteside is dealing with a left hip strain. The Blazers big man started feeling pain in his left hip during Thursday's game against the Denver Nuggets. 

Portland's head coach Terry Stotts gave an update on Whiteside following Friday's practice: 

He started noticing it at the beginning of the game last night. I talked to him today, he really didn’t notice before the game but… early in his minutes last night it started bothering him. -- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

 

Whiteside played just 13 minutes in Thursday's contest, which is the fewest minutes he's played since the league's return to play. 

Whiteside has been adjusting to life coming off the bench for the Trail Blazers during the NBA restart now that Portland has a healthy Jusuf Nurkic back in the fold.

Through four games in the bubble, Whiteside has averaged 5.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 16 minutes per game.

This isn’t Whiteside’s first injury he has suffered since the restart either. The 7-footer missed the team’s first scrimmage with an Achilles strain.

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

You can catch Saturday’s Blazers-Clippers game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers with tip-off set for 10:00a.m. Our coverage starts at 7:30a.m. with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at 9:00a.m. and ‘Blazers Pregame Show’ at 9:30a.m.

You can also stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, for full coverage of the scrimmage make sure to follow Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team throughout the day. Follow us on social for the latest updates. 

Kawhi Leonard OUT for Clippers vs. Trail Blazers

Kawhi Leonard OUT for Clippers vs. Trail Blazers

LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard will not play vs. the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday due to left knee soreness and load management. 

The team says Leonard will play on Sunday night against the Brooklyn Nets. 

Leonard, who has made the term “load management” an NBA vernacular, routinely does not play in back-to-back games. 

The Clippers were already shorthanded entering Saturday's game without Patrick Beverley (left calf strain) and Montrezl Harrell, who is not with the team due to personal reasons stemming from the passing of his grandmother.

Leonard has averaged 26.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists this season.

The Clippers are currently No. 2 in the Western Conference standings, while the Trail Blazers, currently sitting 9th in the West, look to inch closer to Memphis’ foothold of the 8th and final playoff spot. 

During his pregame media interview, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts discussed what it means for his team to have Leonard out.

“Obviously he’s an MVP, he’s a defensive player, he’s a scorer, he’s a key to their team, so it goes without saying that they’re a better team with him, but I think the thing for us is what we learned against Denver is we really struggled against their second unit, that they rested some of their players, and their second unit came in and really made it difficult for us. So, I think without Kawhi we can’t let our guard down. We have to have the same focus whether he’s playing or not. -- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said pregame  

Saturday's game will mark the third and final meeting between the Trail Blazers and the Clippers this season. The Clippers lead the season series, 2-0. 

You can catch Saturday’s Blazers-Clippers game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers with tip-off set for 10:00a.m. Our coverage starts at 7:30a.m. with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at 9:00a.m. and ‘Blazers Pregame Show’ at 9:30a.m.

If you can’t get to a TV, stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

How to Watch & Stream Blazers vs. Clippers, coverage begins at 7:30am

How to Watch & Stream Blazers vs. Clippers, coverage begins at 7:30am

It’s time to wake up with the Trail Blazers!

In Portland’s first leg of a back-to-back this weekend, the Blazers will square off against the LA Clippers in Portland’s fifth seeding game Saturday.

The Blazers are coming off a 125-115 win over the Denver Nuggets Thursday. In the win, the Trail Blazers knocked down 23 three pointers, a franchise-high. Damian Lillard connected on 11 three pointers. Gary Trent, Jr. went 7-of-10 from beyond the arc as Portland improved its seeding games record to 3-1. 

As for the Clippers, LA is now 2-2 following Thursday’s 126-111 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 29 points.

Saturday will be a clash of opposites.  

The Trail Blazers lead the league in points per game over the last four contests in the bubble with 124.8, while the Clippers have allowed the fourth-fewest points per game over that span at 108.5.

You can catch Saturday’s Blazers-Clippers game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers with tip-off set for 10:00a.m. Our coverage starts at 7:30a.m. with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at 9:00a.m. and ‘Blazers Pregame Show’ at 9:30a.m.

And, don’t forget to wrap up your Trail Blazers-Saturday with ‘Blazers Outsiders’ for some postgame fun!

Or if you can’t get to a TV, stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

Plus, for full coverage of Portland’s fifth seeding game make sure to follow Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team throughout the day. Follow us on social for the latest updates. 

Portland’s Remaining Seeding Games:

  • Saturday, Aug. 8 vs. LA Clippers  
  • Sunday, Aug. 9 vs. Philadelphia 76ers 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11 vs. Dallas Mavericks 
  • Thursday, Aug. 13 vs. Brooklyn Nets   

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast as special guest Bill Walton joins hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon]: 

  

Injury Reports:

The Clippers listed Patrick Beverley (left calf; strain) and Montrezl Harrell (not with team) as out for Saturday's game. LA added Kawhi Leonard to the injury list Saturday morning. He will not play vs. the Trail Blazers due to left knee soreness and load management. 

For the Blazers, Hassan Whiteside (left hip strain) is out.

Quote of the Week:  

Following Thursday's win, Damian Lillard thought back to a conversation he had with Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes at the end of May when Lillard said he wouldn't play when the NBA returns unless Portland has a chance to compete for a playoff berth.

Four games in and now everyone sees why.

Months ago when I said, ‘if we don’t have a chance to compete for a playoff spot, I don’t want to play,’ because I knew that if we did have a chance to play for a playoff spot it would look something like it looks right now because we’re a more healthy team, more rested, and I knew what our team was doing – guys was getting conditioning in and we stayed in contact. As soon as we opened our facility, guys were there every day. I knew that once we got here, we would be one of the teams that could take advantage of it. So far we have.  -- Damian Lillard said postgame Thursday

Top Game Notes:

  • All-Time: Trail Blazers lead, 147-80
     
  • Saturday's game will mark the third and final meeting between the Trail Blazers and the Clippers this season. The Clippers lead the season series, 2-0.
     
  • Last Meeting: The Clippers defeated the Trail Blazers at Staples Center on Dec. 3, 117-97. Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 26 points (11-13 FG, 4-12 FT), nine rebounds, one assist and one steal in 30 minutes off the bench while CJ McCollum had 20 points (9-17 FG, 2-6 3-PT), three rebounds, three assists and one block to lead Portland.
     
  • Damian Lillard has averaged 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.00 steals in two games against the Clippers this season. He has made at least three three-pointers in five of his last six games against the Clippers, shooting 38.5% from deep in that span.
     
  • CJ McCollum has averaged 21.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in two games against the Clippers this season. He has scored at least 20 points in each of his last four games against the Clippers.
     
  • In two games against the Clippers this season, Hassan Whiteside has averaged 17.5 points, 16.0 rebounds and 1.50 blocks.
     
  • Anfernee Simons had 17 points (5-13 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 4-6 FT), two rebounds and two assists against the Clippers on Nov. 7. He is averaging 14.0 points per game in two games against LA this season.
     
  • Paul George had 25 points (9-14 FG, 6-7 3-PT, 1-2 FT), four rebounds and three assists against Portland on Dec. 3. He missed the first game against the Trail Blazers this season with a shoulder injury.
     
  • In two games against the Trail Blazers this season, Kawhi Leonard has averaged 19.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.50 steals and 1.00 blocks. He has scored at least 25 points in five of his last seven games against Portland. 

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