The Portland Trail Blazers (29-19) went a perfect 4-0 on their latest road trip and now they return home for a quick two-game homestand.
Friday’s contest against the Milwaukee Bucks (30-17) will be the second and final meeting between the two this season.
Milwaukee leads the season series, 1-0 after defeating the Trail Blazers, 134-106, back on Feb. 1.
Jrue Holiday led Milwaukee with 22 points, but it was a breakout game for Nassir Little, who paced the Blazers with a career-high 30 points. He also notched six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two blocks.
Both teams are 7-3 in their last 10 contests.
Friday, we can expect it to be raining threes at Moda Center.
Portland (16.2 three-pointers per game) and Milwaukee (14.7 three-pointers per game) currently rank second and fourth in the NBA in three-pointers per game.
The Trail Blazers have listed Nassir Little (right thumb sprain) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) as out for Friday's game.
For the Bucks, Jeff Teague (health and safety protocols) and Bobby Portis (health and safety protocols) are questionable; P.J. Tucker (left calf; strain) is out.
Following Wednesday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes examined how Damian Lillard has been playing hurt:
When the Trail Blazers make three-point field goals at a high rate, you can pretty much mark it down as a victory.
That was the story Wednesday night in Detroit when Portland made 16 of its 30 shots from behind the arc and cruised to a 124-101 win over the Pistons.
The victory polished off a sweep of the team’s four-game road trip.
And included in that three-point barrage was a 5-for-7 three-point night from Damian Lillard, who had made just 19.4 percent of his three-point shots over his previous four games.
Had he been playing hurt? Yes, quite obviously. He wasn’t getting the lift he usually gets on his jumper – with good reason. And Damian Lillard doesn't have four-game shooting slumps, either. Not unless he's hurting in some way.
Always reluctant to speak about his injuries for fear of it being taken as an excuse, he revealed the long list of recent bumps and bruises that have been affecting him and probably require a truckload of ice after every game.
“Earlier in the season in New York, I got kneed in my right knee, and it was pretty stiff and pretty sore.” he said. “And then, in OKC, I got kneed pretty hard on my left knee. So it was like a bruise on both of my quads, like where the muscle by my quad and my knee attach.
“I got kneed in both knees in that spot, so it caused swelling and I just didn't have good flexibility in that area, so my movement was limited -- like how I dip into my jump shot. So my base wasn't the same when I was shooting the ball.
“And then, I think the second game against Dallas, I got kneed in that same spot again. It was already still lingering soreness, but I was just kind of feeling OK. And then, once it got hit again. it just killed me. It was real sore. It was swelling.”
But that wasn’t the end of it.
Read more here.
The Blazers are +3 point underdogs against the Bucks, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Friday’s matchup –
- Nassir Little's 30 points, 11 made field goals and five made three-pointers were all career-highs. Feb. 1 was not only his first career game with 30+ points, it was the first time he's reached the 20 point mark as well.
- Damian Lillard added 19 points (6-13 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 5-5 FT), three rebounds and seven assists against Milwaukee on Feb. 1. Lillard has recorded at least five assists in each of his last three games against the Bucks.
- Anfernee Simons had 15 points (5-15 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 2-2 FT), three rebounds, five assists and two blocks against the Bucks on Feb. 1.
- After his 22 points on Feb. 1, Jrue Holiday has scored at least 20 points in five of his last six games against the Trail Blazers. • Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 18 points, four rebounds and six assists in 26 minutes against Portland on Feb. 1. Antetokounmpo set a career-high with 15 assists against the Trail Blazers on Nov. 21, 2019 in Milwaukee.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: +3 (-115) – Bucks: -3 (-105)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Friday, April 2
Where: Moda Center | Portland, OR
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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