After back-to-back losses on the road to the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz, Portland is looking for a get-right game at the Moda Center on Saturday.
In the first game of a three-game homestand, the Blazers (30-21) will host the Detroit Pistons (16-36) for the second and final matchup of the regular season. Last time the two teams met; the Trail Blazers came away with a 124-101 victory on March 31 at Little Caesars Arena.
The Trail Blazers lead the series 1-0.
In the win, Damian Lillard dropped 33 points (9-19 FG, 5-7 3-T, 10-11 FT) four rebounds, 10 assists and one steal. For the Pistons, Jerami Grant recorded 30 points (11-19 FG, 3-5 3-PT, 5-9 FT), two rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks.
On Fridays’s injury report for the Blazers, Portland C Jusuf Nurkic (injury management, right knee) and F/C Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) are out for Saturday's game vs. Detroit.
Nurk played 22 minutes vs. the Jazz on Thursday, notching 10 points and grabbing six rebounds. The 26-year-old sat out Tuesday's matchup with the Clippers due to right knee inflammation, which he is resting on Saturday vs. Detroit.
For the Pistons, Mason Plumlee (concussion protocol) is questionable; Wayne Ellington (rest), Jerami Grant (right knee; soreness) and Rodney McGruder (right elbow; sprain) are out for Saturday’s game.
Following Thursday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes shed some light on Damian Lillard’s comments on the Blazers being 1-8 against teams above them in the standings.
The games that were intended to be barometers of where the Trail Blazers stand in the Western Conference seemed to do just that.
Portland began the week in sixth place in the Western Conference with a 1-6 record against the teams above it in the standings. After blowout losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz, they are now 1-8 against those teams.
Damian Lillard knows all about that. And he is not running away from it.
“When we play against the top-level teams, we don't play well,” Lillard said. “We get put away.
“At Phoenix, we got put away. Tonight, we got put away. At Denver, we got put away. Milwaukee at home, we got put away. Clippers got put away. I mean, you know, it's not like a small sample size.
“It’s what happens when we play against the better teams, where you have to be consistent. You’ve got to be able to sustain a certain level of focus.
“You’ve got to be sharp; you know. Physically, mentally, you’ve got to be present, you got to be ready to go, because these teams are top-level teams and those are the teams that we're trying to be next to, we’re trying to be in that same bubble of teams.”
Read more here.
The Blazers are 11-point favorites against the Pistons, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s matchup –
- Over 15 career games vs. Detroit, Lillard is averaging 23.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 7.1 assists. His 5.2 boards per game is also his highest average against any team.
- McCollum added 24 points, three rebounds, six assists, one steal and two blocks when the Trail Blazers played the Pistons on March 31. In his lone game against the Pistons during the 2019-20 season, McCollum scored a season-high 41 points to go alone with a career-high 12 assists.
- Pistons center Mason Plumlee spent two-plus seasons with the Blazers, appearing in 136 games from 2015-17. During his time in Portland, Plumlee averaged 9.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 blocks.
- After passing LeBron James for 13th on the NBA’s all-time list for three-pointers made on Thursday, Lillard is just two-made three-pointers behind Joe Johnson (1,978) in 12th.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -11 (-110) – Pistons +11 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Saturday, April 9
Where: Moda Center | Portland, Oregon
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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