Just three days after the Trail Blazers and Raptors trade was finalized with Portland sending Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood to Toronto for Norman Powell, the three will face their former teammates Sunday.
The Trail Blazers (27-18) at Raptors (18-27) Sunday will be the second and final meeting this season. Portland leads the season series, 1-0.
In their last meeting, it was a thriller that came down to the wire. The Blazers just edged the Raptors, 112-111, at Moda Center on Jan. 11 with CJ McCollum leading the way. He finished with 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and one steal.
In the loss, Pascal Siakam notched a triple-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and one steal.
Sunday, Portland will reportedly get its starting point guard back while shaking up the starting lineup.
Damian Lillard sat out of the Blazers' second leg of a back-to-back Friday night in Orlando due to a left knee contusion.
He was then upgraded to questionable on the latest Trail Blazers injury report.
But according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Lillard will only miss one game with the knee contusion.
The Blazers are also sliding Powell into the starting lineup for Derrick Jones Jr.
In six seasons with the Raptors, Powell averaged 9.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.80 steals.
But as a starter this season, he has averaged 23.5 points per game.
Portland has listed Nassir Little (right thumb sprain) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) as out for Sunday's game.
For the Raptors, DeAndre' Bembry (health and safety protocols), Patrick McCaw (left knee; swelling) and Paul Watson (health and safety protocols) are out.
It was all about newcomer Norman Powell and how well he played in his first Portland appearance.
Powell was the same steady and accurate guard he was as a Toronto Raptor. The player acquired for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood hit 7 of his 13 shots, 5 of 7 three-pointers and scored 22 points in his debut.
Starting at guard in place of resting Damian Lillard, Powell was solid defensively and had two steals and a blocked shot.
“Well, to be honest, it is what I expected,” Coach Terry Stotts said. “He knows how to play the game. He plays the way we play. He moves well without the ball, he shoots threes, he defends, he's in shape.
“I wouldn't have said he's going to score 22, but I had a good feeling that he would play well for us.”
Powell seemed relieved to get the first one out of the way and have everything work so well.
“It felt good,” he said. “I just was thinking to myself, just let the game come to me. Try to play off of the other guys, ask as many questions as I can.
“I was definitely nervous a little bit during my warmup. It felt like a lot of the eyes were on me, watching me warm up in my shooting time. But I just told myself, once the ball goes up, it’s just basketball and do what I've been doing my whole life.”
Read more here.
The Blazers are -1.5 point favorites against the Raptors, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Sunday’s matchup –
- Damian Lillard recorded 23 points (8-16 FG, 3-6 3-PT, 4-4 FT), seven rebounds and five assists against the Raptors on Jan. 11. Lillard holds career averages of 24.7 points and 7.0 assists against the Raptors, having scored at least 20 points in 13 of his 16 career games against Toronto.
- Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points (6-14 FG, 4-9 3-PT, 4-4 FT) to go with five rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks on Jan. 11. It was his first 20-point game of the 2020-21 season.
- Pascal Siakham has averaged 29.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.00 steals over his last two games against Portland.
- Chris Boucher added 20 points (7-12 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 1-1 FT), eight rebounds, one assist and three blocks against Portland on Jan. 11. His five three-pointers set a career-high that he has since reached two additional times.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -1.5 (-110) – Raptors: +1.5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Sunday, March 28
Where: Amalie Arena | Tampa, Florida
Start time: 4:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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