The Portland Trail Blazers (22-16) will tip-off a five-game homestand when they welcome in the New Orleans Pelicans (17-22) Tuesday.
Tuesday’s game will be the second of three meetings between the two this season. The final game of the series will come two days later on March 18.
Portland leads the season series, 1-0.
In their last meeting on Feb. 17, the Trail Blazers defeated the Pelicans 126-124 in New Orleans behind Damian Lillard’s 43 points.
Lillard currently ranks second in the league in scoring with 29.9 points per game.
In the first matchup, Zion Williamson led the Pelicans with a career-high 36 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
To begin the long homestand, the Blazers will get CJ McCollum back in the lineup. This will be the first time McCollum has taken the court since Jan. 16 when he suffered a fractured foot in Portland’s win over Atlanta.
Portland will still be without Harry Giles (left calf strain), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture).
For New Orleans, JJ Redick (right heel; soreness) is out for Tuesday’s game.
In their last 10 games, the Pelicans have gone 5-5, while averaging 118.9 points.
Ahead of Tuesday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes posed the question -- has Trail Blazers' Gary Trent put a nine-game shooting slump in the rearview mirror?
One good thing that came out of the Trail Blazers’ two-point loss at Minnesota Sunday night was the shooting of Gary Trent.
Trent went 6-14 from the field and 4-8 from three-point range in that game, on the way to 21 points.
And perhaps it put an end to a nine-game stretch when he struggled with his shot.
Trent, who was inserted into the starting lineup in late January, when CJ McCollum suffered a fracture in his left foot, had played well in that starting role. He can be a very explosive shooter, especially from long range.
But beginning with a Feb. 20 game against Washington, Trent went nine contests where he never once reached 20 points.
During those games he shot 36.5 percent from the field and just 29.1 percent from three-point range. And shooting is his thing … his skill. The other stats, not to so much.
During that nine-game span, he averaged just 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists while averaging 34.5 minutes per game.
McCollum is expected to return to the lineup soon, when Trent will presumably return to his role as a scorer off Portland’s bench.
In either role, his job will be to provide long-range shooting for a team that needs it.
Read more here.
The Blazers are +1.5 point underdogs against the Pelicans, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s matchup --
- Damian Lillard has scored at least 20 points in 20 of his 26 career games against New Orleans. He holds career averages of 24.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists over those 26 games.
- Gary Trent Jr. added 23 points (7-14 FG, 5-10 3-PT, 4-4 FT), two rebounds, one assist and one steal on Feb. 17. Trent has scored at least 15 points and made three or more three-pointers in each of his last two games against New Orleans.
- Derrick Jones Jr. finished with 13 points on 6-of-8 from the field (1-2 3-PT), seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks against the Pelicans on Feb. 17.
- Lonzo ball scored 21 points (7-14 FG, 5-10 3-PT, 2-2 FT), and had two rebounds, five assists and one steal against Portland on Feb. 17. His 21 points are tied for his third-highest scoring game of the season.
- Willy Hernangomez recorded his first double-double of the season on Feb. 17, finishing with 11 points and a career-best 17 boards.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: +1.5 (-115) – Pelicans: -1.5 (-105)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Tuesday, March 16
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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