Indiana Pacers

Jusuf Nurkic returns from 'journey' with 14 points, 8 rebounds in 20 minutes

Jusuf Nurkic returns from 'journey' with 14 points, 8 rebounds in 20 minutes

Finally back on the court, Jusuf Nurkic made the most of his first 20 minutes of action Thursday in Orlando.

The Trail Blazers dropped a 91-88 scrimmage against the Indiana Pacers Thursday, but the story of the day was Nurkic’s return to action for the first time since March 25, 2019.

“It was a long road back for Nurk,” Portland Coach Terry Stotts said. “But there’s no question that having him back makes us a better team.”

Nurkic, who had 14 points and eight rebounds, looked comfortable, relaxed and confident in his starting role. He was productive, active and showed no signs of the broken leg that kept him out of action. He scored his team’s first basket of the game on a jump hook, but that wasn’t the pinnacle of the day’s excitement for him.

“The tip-off,” he said. “That probably had more affect on me. After tip-off, the flow of the game was just the same for me from before I left. I’m in great shape, but the excitement of the game got me tired.

"It's been really a journey. It's great to be back."

It was a big moment for Nurkic and his teammates, just to see him back, but a special thrill for Mario Hezonja, who has been friends with the Portland center since childhood.

“I loved it,” said Hezonja, who came off the bench to lead Portland scorers with 15 points.”He’s a monster out there. I don’t even want to talk about the actual game. Just being personally very close to him, knowing him since 14 or 15, to see what he’s been through. To see how excited he was. Zach (Collins), too. To see them out there… it was amazing.”

The Blazers were very good in the first quarter, but flattened out after that. The bench, playing without Hassan Whiteside (left Achilles and lower leg soreness) and Nassir Little (concussion protocol), struggled until late in the fourth quarter.

“In general,” Stotts said, “it was kind of what we expected. Defense was pretty solid for most of the game, Obviously we didn’t shoot the ball very well, which I’m not too concerned about.

“I thought the starters in the first half really showed what they are capable of doing, I thought everybody who was anxious to see Zach and Nurk were probably pleased to see how they played. For the first game, not a bad effort. I thought we could have played better, obviously, but kind of what we expected.”

How to Watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Pacers scrimmage TODAY @ 12:00pm

How to Watch, stream Trail Blazers vs. Pacers scrimmage TODAY @ 12:00pm

July 23 against the Indiana Pacers will be the first competitive game the Trail Blazers have played since March 10 when Portland beat Phoenix, 121-105 at home.

But now the NBA restart is here.

Well, at least the scrimmage games are here!

You can watch the Blazers-Pacers scrimmage on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers starting with the pregame show at noon. You can stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

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. 

Portland’s Scrimmage Schedule:

  • Thursday, July 23 vs. Indiana at 12:30 p.m. PT
  • Sunday, July 26 vs. Toronto at 3:00 p.m. PT
  • Tues, July 28 vs. Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m. PT

Blazers Coach Stotts has said multiple times over the past two weeks that the Blazers will treat these scrimmages like a preseason game. So don’t expect Portland’s starters to play their typical minutes, at least not for all three scrimmages.

Blazers Injury Update:

Portland will most likely be without rookie forward Nassir Little Thursday after Little suffered a concussion during Monday’s practice.

Little is currently going through the NBA’s concussion protocol and was not at practice on Tuesday.

Wednesday, coach Stotts gave a brief update on Little’s progress:  

“He’s feeling better. He was at practice today. He didn’t do anything. He did some movement in the back. He’s doing well, but he’s not participating in practice yet.”

“I would say unlikely, but I don’t know,” Stotts said of Little’s status for Thursday’s scrimmage.

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

 

Quote of the Week:

For Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic, Thursday will be the first time he is getting up and down the court against someone other than his own teammates since March 2018, when he suffered a broken left leg.

Even though the Bosnian Beast and the rest of the Trail Blazers starters will play limited minutes, Nurkic is excited about Thursday’s scrimmage against the Pacers. 

Just to play the game. I have no restrictions, so I’m feeling great, excited to play the game. I don’t know about that scrimmage, I think it’s more preseason style. We’re going to have jerseys on, so I don’t know why they call a scrimmage that. We televise it too, so I’m not sure about that. I think it’s just excitement… I’m really looking forward to playing. -- Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers road to the playoffs, NBCSNW to carry all eight games 

Top Game Notes vs. Pacers:

Trail Blazers feel like they definitely let one slip away vs. Pacers

Trail Blazers feel like they definitely let one slip away vs. Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS – It was a game that looked within reach from start to finish for the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

And then, with 9.1 seconds remaining on the game clock, Pacers starting center Myles Turner hit a dagger three-pointer to put Indiana up 106-100, which ended up being the final margin.

The Blazers out-shot the Pacers 46.1 percent from the field for the game to the Pacers’ 44.4 percent.

Thursday’s game had eight lead changes and was tied a total of eight times.

Portland even held Indiana to just 13 points in the second quarter, which the team pointed to that their defensive is heading in the right direction.

Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum, who has been doing his best to fill the void with Damian Lillard out due to a groin injury, finished with a game-high 28 points.

But, it was on the other end that he was feeling better about.  

“I thought we did a good job of communicating," McCollum said. "Making them finish around the basket, [Hassan] Whiteside protected the rim, we rotated well, we only gave up 13 points in the second quarter, so that was a really good half."

When McCollum was discussing what needs to happen in the final stretch of games in order for the Blazers to make it to the postseason, he mentioned, “play defense like we did tonight, that’ll be a good step in the right direction.”

More than anything though, there was a sense of feeling like the Blazers let this one slip away.

Veteran Trevor Ariza confirmed that feeling:  

Yep, definitely. This is one that I thought we had a good handle on. Being NBA players and them being a team that doesn’t quit either, they gave great effort at the end and they made more plays than we made to win. – Trevor Ariza said postgame

“It felt like it was a winnable game, that’s for sure." McCollum added. "We had a chance; they went on a run. Probably shouldn’t have let them get that run; but we were able to withstand it and come back. Then Turner hits a tough three down the stretch."

The Pacers started the fourth quarter on a 14-7 run. 

With Thursday's loss, the Blazers have now dropped five of their last six games to fall to 26-34 on the season as they continue to chase the Memphis Grizzlies for that eighth and final playoff spot out West.

It may feel like time is not on Portland's side right now, but to Carmelo Anthony that couldn’t be further from the truth, at least within the team. 

“Not in here, it doesn’t feel like that. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like that. If it was, I’d be the first to say that time is running out or time is not on our side, but we don’t feel like that. We don’t feel that pressure. We know it, but we don’t feel it…. We talk about winning basketball games, we talk about winning this game tonight, and winning two more games on this trip, that’s what we talk about.”

The Trail Blazers are still talking about winning, are you? 

Gary Trent Jr. spearheads 'solid' defense but Trail Blazer offense slips

Gary Trent Jr. spearheads 'solid' defense but Trail Blazer offense slips

At a time of the season when the Trail Blazers need to scrounge up every win they can find, they let one slip through their fingers Thursday night against the Indiana Pacers.

And for once, you couldn’t put the entire blame on the team’s defense.

Portland suffered through a rough third quarter, when it was outscored 37-26 and then dug a hole for itself in the fourth that was too deep to rescue with a late rally.

The Trail Blazers held the Pacers to 5-21 shooting in the second quarter and had a six-point halftime lead that climbed to nine in the third quarter.

“I thought we played a really good game,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “Defensively, for the most part, we were pretty solid. The second quarter was outstanding.”

At the heart of the team’s defense was second-year guard Gary Trent Jr., who was a disruptive force at the defensive end all night.

“I would say that Gary has shown in his game time that he has improved,” Stotts said. “He has worked really hard to get to this point.

“He’s had a very good season. It’s an accumulation of all the work he did prior to the season.”

Trent had his moments on offense, too. He hit four of his eight three-point shots and scored 20 points. He played 40 minutes without a turnover and was credited with only one steal -- although it seemed as if had several more than that.

“Gary’s been great,” CJ McCollum said. “He’s a little pit bull. He accepts the challenges of competing on both sides of the ball. He’s aggressive and he’s shooting the ball well.

“He’s showing he belongs in this league, that’s for sure. I’m happy for him.”

Trevor Ariza said, “I see him continuing to stay confident and working hard every day. He’s starting to understand defenses and how defenses play certain players. He’s taking advantage of his spots when he gets opportunities.”

The Blazers came up short at the foul line, as often happens to road teams in the NBA. Portland was 9-14 and Indiana was 18-23 -- difficult to overcome in a close game.

And making just 9 of 30 from three-point range isn’t going to be good enough to win most games.

Pin this one on the offense.

Trail Blazers Pregame Notebook: CJ McCollum taking on leadership role

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USA Today Images

Trail Blazers Pregame Notebook: CJ McCollum taking on leadership role

INDIANAPOLIS – The Trail Blazers are without Damian Lillard for the fourth straight game as Portland faces the Indiana Pacers on the road.

Before Portland and Indiana tip-off at 5:00p.m. PT tonight on NBC Sports Northwest and on the 'MyTeams' App, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts addressed the media.

With Lillard sidelined with a groin injury, the Blazers have relied heavily on CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony.

Stotts discussed what he has liked most about how McCollum has embraced the starting point guard role.  

“He’s doing more than just scoring. He’s involving his teammates; he’s running the offense, just taking a little bit more of leadership role. It’s all the thing you’d expect from a great player,” Coach Stotts said.

HEAR FROM COACH STOTTS HERE:

 

BLAZERS INJURY REPORT: 

Damian Lillard (right groin strain), Rodney Hood (left ruptured Achilles tendon), Zach Collins (left shoulder dislocation), and Jusuf Nurkic (left leg fracture) are out for Thursday’s game vs. Indiana.

PACERS INJURY REPORT:

Victor Oladipo (sore lower back) is available; Jeremy Lamb (left knee ACL tear) and Naz Mitrou-Long (Two-way) are out.

STANDOUT GAME NOTES:

-- Thursday's meeting will round out the two-game series between the Trail Blazers and Pacers during the 2019-20 season. Portland leads

the season series, 1-0.

-- The Trail Blazers are 10-1 in their last 11 games against the Pacers, and are currently on a five game win-streak, having swept Indiana each of the past two seasons.

-- LAST MEETING: Portland took down Indiana at Moda Center on Jan. 26, 139-129. Damian Lillard led Portland with 50 points.

-- CJ McCollum scored 28 points (11-21 FG, 6-9 3-PT) and handed out five assists in Portland's Jan. 26 win over Indiana. McCollum has scored in double-figures in eight of his nine career games against Indiana, with the exception coming during his rookie season (2013-14) when he scored nine points in 12 minutes.

-- Hassan Whiteside had 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting (3-5 FT), to go with 14 rebounds and six blocks on Jan. 26. Whiteside has recorded a double-double in each of his last five games against the Pacers, totaling exactly 79 points and 79 rebounds over that five-game span.

-- Domantas Sabonis recorded his second career triple-double in his last game against Portland, finishing with 27 points (11-17 FG, 5-6 FT), 14 rebounds, a career-high 11 assists. 

How to watch, stream Trail Blazers at Pacers tonight at 5:00pm

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USA Today Images

How to watch, stream Trail Blazers at Pacers tonight at 5:00pm

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Trail Blazers (26-33) hit the road for a three-game trip, tipping off game one against the Indiana Pacers (34-24) Thursday night.

Damian Lillard is listed as out for Thursday’s game. This will be his fourth straight contest he has missed due to a groin strain. Lillard is expected to miss 'a couple more games' as the All-Star point guard did not travel with the team Wednesday. 

As for the Pacers, Victor Oladipo (sore lower back) is listed as questionable and Jeremy Lamb (left knee ACL tear) is out against the Blazers.

You can catch Portland and Indiana in action on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers and you can stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, have you heard about Blazers Pass?

You can get 15 live Trail Blazers games, pre and postgame shows, and on-demand full-game replays with Blazers Pass! (Only available to fans located in Blazers Territory, pursuant to NBA rules and agreements. No TV provider required. Subscription Period: November 4, 2019 - April 16, 2020. Subscription auto-renews prior to start of next season.)

Don't miss any of the coverage of tonight's game:

2:30pm Blazers Game Day with Chad Doing

4:00pm Blazers Warm-Up

4:30pm Trail Blazers Pregame Show

5:00pm Trail Blazers vs. Pacers

After the game catch Blazers Outsiders with hosts Joe Simons and Dan Marang!

Plus, we will full coverage of the game from Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team. Follow us on social throughout the night for the latest updates. 

Quotable

“They made the open ones, they made the contested ones, they made a lot of them tonight. They are a good team. We have to be better than we played tonight against teams like the Celtics to win. I think that was the difference. They played better than us. They’re a deep team. They made shots, they got stops. They ran on our turnovers and they played like a playoff team.” -- CJ McCollum said following Tuesday’s loss to the Celtics  

Trail Blazers facing reality on upcoming three-game road trip

Trail Blazers facing reality on upcoming three-game road trip

The Portland Trail Blazers have 23 games remaining on their regular-season slate.

Twenty-three games to try and move up and seize the eighth and final playoff spot out West. Entering Wednesday’s games, the Trail Blazers currently sit in the ninth spot in the Western Conference standings, 3.5 games back of the Memphis Grizzlies.

And, it's now confirmed that the Blazers will have at least a couple more games without their All-Star Damian Lillard.

Lillard did not travel with the team Wednesday morning as the Blazers set out on their current three-game road trip.  

Following the All-Star break, Lillard was asked how many games he expected to miss as he continued to rehab a right groin strain. "If I had to guess I would say at least 3-4 games. Maybe five games," Lillard said. 

The Trail Blazers point guard has already missed three games with the injury. There’s still a chance Lillard could meet the team at a later date on the trip.

But, as Blazers head coach Terry Stotts discussed following Tuesday’s loss to the Celtics, the team’s medical staff must clear Lillard first and foremost. 

“It’s usually a mutual decision,” Stotts said of Lillard and the medical staff. “We have to clear him medically, and this is not just Damian, it’s any player. He has to be cleared medically and then the player has to feel if he’s up to play or not. That’s not specific to Damian, that’s just the right thing to do. Ultimately, the player knows whether he feels 100% and if he’s ready to go.”

Portland has been relying heavily on CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony with Lillard sidelined. The two veterans have mentioned that they have to step up, but they also realize the number one priority is for Lillard to only come back when he is completely healthy.

“It’s an adjustment. It’s an adjustment for everybody, starting with the guys on the bench, as a team, and as a whole, you lose a component like that to injury, but… Dame's got to get healthy, that’s the most important part -- is for him to be healthy,” Melo said.

With Lillard sidelined, the Blazers have gone 1-2. It’s been apparent that Portland has missed the two-man game between Lillard and Hassan Whiteside. 

Late in Tuesday’s game vs. Boston, McCollum and Whiteside showed that they too could have a pretty solid connection. Whiteside finished with 18 points and 19 rebounds in the losing effort.

But the big fella understands that they have to continue to come together with their team captain out.  

“There’s nothing we can do about injuries. Injuries pretty much have been haunting us all season,” Whiteside said.

Now as the Blazers embark on their current three-game trip starting off with Thursday’s contest in Indiana, followed by Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, before wrapping up the trip in Orlando Monday, it’s all about the playoff push.

It’s about catching Memphis, while still dealing with so many injuries.

It’s our reality so we’ve got to figure it out -- how to get as many wins as possible starting in Indiana and progressing forward. I don’t know how many –we’ve got 20 games left, 21 games left? 23 – so we’ve got to win the majority of them to give ourselves a chance to make the playoffs. – Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum said following Tuesday's game

The reality a month ago was Lillard went off for 50 points against Indiana with the Blazers beating the Pacers 139-129 at home.

Melo’s mentality heading into the road trip is all about how the trip starts off against the Pacers. 

“To win in Indiana. For me, that’s the only thing that we should be thinking about. Because the first game on the road trip is always the one that if we have a chance to get, we want to go in there and get it. I’m sure they’ll be thinking about them coming in here losing to us on our home court and they want to get that win back.”

While, Whiteside put it simply:

“We just gotta get some wins on the road. Let’s get a couple of wins on the road, and pretty much that’s all there is to say.”

That’s the truth. There really isn’t much more to say or do, the short-handed Blazers just need to go out and win on the road. 

Indiana Pacers honor Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts

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@trailblazers

Indiana Pacers honor Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts

Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts is celebrating his induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame a month early.

Stotts and the Trail Blazers arrived in Indiana on Wednesday for Portland’s first game of a three-game road trip beginning with the Indiana Pacers.

Upon their arrival, the Pacers had a screen setup with a throwback photo of Stotts and the words "Congrats Terry Stotts," to honor the Trail Blazers coach who will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame next month.

Such a nice gesture, Pacers. 

Several members of the Trail Blazers can be seen in the room chanting the words “Terry! Terry! Terry!”

Stotts played his final two seasons of high school basketball at Bloomington North High School in Bloomington, Indiana, before four years at the University of Oklahoma.

He was an All-Star and All-State selection at Bloomington North in 1976. He averaged 24.4 points and 13.6 and led the Cougars to their first regional championship in school history.

Forty-four years after Stotts had his first taste of Indiana high school basketball, the Trail Blazers coach will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. He is expected to be honored on March 25.

The Trail Blazers will take on the Pacers on Thursday night at 5:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Northwest.

Mourning the death of Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony played in the hardest game of his career

Mourning the death of Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony played in the hardest game of his career

If you had a pit in your stomach Sunday night watching the Trail Blazers play, you weren't alone. 

Moda Center had a very different feeling as the Trail Blazers went on to defeat the Indiana Pacers 139-129 behind Damian Lillard’s electric 50-point performance.

But, before and after the game tipped off, there were many players either holding back tears or looking off into space as if searching for answers.

Why now? How could this happen to an NBA legend?

Coming to terms with its reality was a struggle. It remains a struggle. It feels unreal.

The Trail Blazers and Pacers game went on as scheduled despite the NBA mourning the death of Kobe Bryant on Sunday. 

After the win, the Blazers spoke in the locker room about the man who some grew up idolizing, while other were fortunate enough to face in a game.

Throughout the day NBA players and coaches had been sharing their stories of Kobe.

His competitive nature.

His overall greatness.

Him as a teammate.

A friend.

A father.

For Trail Blazers veteran Carmelo Anthony Sunday was a nightmare.

Melo and Kobe played together on Team USA for the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.

Their relationship was special.

They kept tabs on each other via texts, phone calls, and dinners.

Playing in game just hours after learning the horrific news was more than difficult for Melo.

The 17-year veteran held back tears as he spoke to the media.

It probably was the hardest game I’ve ever had to play. Just… It was tough… Honestly knowing him, the way that I know him, he would’ve wanted me to play. – Veteran Carmelo Anthony holding back tears as he spoke on Kobe’s passing

The 35-year-old admitted that for him Sunday was not at all about basketball.

“I had to try to pull myself back in and check back in emotionally because I wasn’t there today,” Melo said.  

Over the last few months, Anthony has discussed how being away from basketball for a year put a lot of things in perspective.

Now Sunday night, it was as if he had to do that all over again.

Our friendship and relationship was deeper than basketball, it was family, it was friendship… Basketball is the last connective tissue between us to. – Carmelo Anthony

Both Lillard and CJ McCollum also had relationships with the Black Mamba, but of course, it wasn’t to the extent of Melo and Kobe.  

“We talked about it before the game,” Lillard said. “Coach just said that obviously, it’s a tough situation for everybody that had to play today, especially the ones that was friends with Kobe and had a real relationship with him. We’ve got two guys in our locker room who’re really close friends with him and then guys like myself and CJ who actually had a friendship with him and was familiar with him – we’re not the only ones… Everybody felt a way today, was hurt today. But we had to carry on so I think it was the right decision for us to go out there and compete in his honor.”

Lillard did just that. In Kobe’s honor, he not only put up 50 points, Lillard also dished out 13 assists and pulled down six rebounds in the win. McCollum added 28.

“It was tough, it was an emotional day,” McCollum said. "Not just for me, I really feel for my teammates. Trevor (Ariza) and the relationship he had with Kobe.”

Ariza was not made available to the media after the game.

Bryant and Ariza played together for one and a half seasons and won an NBA Championship together in 2009.

McCollum explained how growing up he was scared to meet the Lakers Legend.

“I knew Kobe, we had a decent relationship where we would talk when we see each other but I’m just thankful I was able to express the impact he had on my life, basketball, my work ethic, my approach, my brother’s approach. Our whole family, our coach, the NBA. I would always tell people he was the guy I was afraid to meet him and Michael Jordan. I knew Lebron growing up too, and although he’s like Mount Rushmore great, Kobe was the one I didn’t really know, so that was a guy I was afraid to meet. That really hurt, just to see the reception across the country, all of the lives he impacted, people that didn’t know him. It shows you how special he was outside of basketball. I pray for his wife, his family because lord knows what they’re going through,” McCollum said.

On a night where Lillard made history becoming the first ever Trail Blazer in the team’s history to score at least 40 points in three straight games, it was a night to discuss what Kobe has meant to everyone around the league.

“I didn’t think about basketball today to be honest,” Melo said. “I just knew that I had to do it. This is my job. I’m a professional. I’m sure he would’ve wanted me to play.”

Anthony said he talked with Kobe two days ago where they discussed Bryant’s plans to come to the Blazers-Lakers game next Thursday night at Staples Center. 

Basketball lost a legend Sunday. Kobe Bryant will be greatly missed, but his legacy, his inspiration, will carry on for generations. 

Instant Analysis: Could Pacers slow down Damian Lillard? Nope

Instant Analysis: Could Pacers slow down Damian Lillard? Nope

Before the Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers tipped off, the Blazers played a tribute video of Kobe Bryant followed by a moment of silence for 24 seconds to honor the NBA legend.

Once the game tipped, both teams honored Kobe.  The Blazers took it upon themselves to pay tribute by running out the 24 second shot clock to begin the game, while the Pacers did the same with an 8 second backcourt violation, honoring the two numbers Kobe wore during his career. 

Shots were falling early and often for both teams Sunday night. Portland and Indiana both shot over 50 percent in the first quarter.

At the break, the Blazers held a 10-point lead.

Portland's biggest lead on the night was 21 points in big thanks to their hot three-point shooting. 
FINAL BOX SCORE: TRAIL BLAZERS 139, PACERS 129

Here are three quick takeaways from Sunday’s win:

1.  Lillard doing it all  

Damian Lillard was dialed in Sunday night. 

He started out the game a perfect 6-for-6 from the field. In the first half, Lillard had 23 points, nine assists, and three rebounds. Midway through the third quarter it was time to start the triple-double watch for the Blazers All-Star point guard. Lillard was four rebounds shy of the feat, but he did become the first player in Trail Blazers history with at least 40 points in three straight games.   

2.  Whiteside’s fouls throws off rotation early, but he brings the heat in 2nd half

The Trail Blazers were forced to go with a small ball lineup after Hassan Whiteside picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter. Third-year player Caleb Swanigan picked up the slack on the glass. In his first nine minutes of action Biggie had seven rebounds. Despite not playing with a true center in the second lineup, Portland was still able to out-rebound the Pacers which makes sense considering Indiana starts 6’11” power forward Domantas Sabonis at five.

Whiteside brought the crowd to its feet though midway through the third quarter. The 7-footer blocked JaKarr Sampson's layup and then came down on the other end and threw down a big dunk, assisted by Carmelo Anthony.  

3.  Pacers look like a team on their fifth and final game of the trip

Indiana has been on the road since Jan. 18 when they started off their current five-game road trip in Denver. Often time’s teams struggle to put together a complete game when they know they are finally going to be heading back home after the final horn sounds.

And, that’s what it looked like happened to the Pacers Sunday night. Coming into Sunday’s game in Portland, Indiana was 1-3 on the trip with wins over the Nuggets, the Suns, and the Warriors.

But, against the Blazers, the Pacers looked out of sorts, missing lay-ups and wide open threes, as well as looking a step behind on the defensive end.  

Up Next: Portland concludes its four-game homestand Wednesday night when the Blazers host the Houston Rockets. The Blazers and Rockets tip-off at 7:00pm on NBCSNW. 

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