Saturday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder (20-28) will be the third and final meeting between the Portland Trail Blazers (29-19) and OKC this season.
The season series is tied, 1-1.
In their last meeting on Feb. 16, the Blazers defeated the Thunder, 115-104, behind Damian Lillard’s 31 points. The Trail Blazers All-Star point guard also notched seven rebounds, 10 assists and two steals.
In the loss, Luguentz Dort paced the Thunder with 23 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Lillard holds career averages of 23.7 points and 7.3 assists against OKC.
The Blazers are looking to get back to their winning ways after Friday’s 127-109 blowout loss to Milwaukee.
Portland has listed Nassir Little (right thumb sprain) as questionable, while Derrick Jones Jr. (right quad contusion) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) are out against the Thunder.
For Oklahoma City, Ty Jerome is reportedly day to day (ankle). Darius Bazley (shoulder), Mike Muscala (ankle), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (foot), and Luguentz Dort (concussion protocol) are out.
Following Friday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes discussed how Giannis buried the Trail Blazers with 47 points on 21 shots:
The Milwaukee Bucks systematically picked the Trail Blazers apart Friday night in Moda Center -- at both ends of the court.
Portland didn’t shoot well and didn’t defend well and even a 27-point edge at the three-point line couldn’t save the Blazers from a 127-109 defeat.
At the defensive end, it was just way too much Giannis Antetokounmpo. The two-time defending league MVP carved up Portland for 47 points on just 21 shots in only 33 minutes and five seconds. He was actually 18-18 -- a lot of them lay-ups --from two-point range and still never had to deal with double-teams.
The Trail Blazers opened the game with center Jusuf Nurkic on him, but that didn’t last long. After that, everyone took a turn on him.
“We started Nurk on him, trying to keep him away from the paint,” said Coach Terry Stotts. “Obviously, Nurk is our best rim protector and we were trying to keep Giannis away from the paint. So that was the plan going into it.
“He's difficult to double-team. He's out on the court and they usually have a lot of three-point shooters out there. They put him in positions that are difficult to double team. And at the same time, we don't want to give up threes. So, it's kind of pick your poison.”
Read more here.
The Blazers are -11.5 point favorites against the Thunder, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s matchup –
- Anfernee Simons added 15 points (5-9 FG, 5-8 3-PT), two rebounds, one assist and one steal against the Thunder on Feb. 16. Simons recorded a season-high in the first game between Portland and Oklahoma City this season, finishing with 26 points and six three-pointers.
- In his lone game against Portland this season on Jan. 25, Shae Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 25 points (8-12 FG, 3-4 3-PT, 5-10 FT), nine rebounds, six assists, one steal and tied a season-high with two rejections.
- Darius Bazley recorded 14 points (4-16 FG, 1-7 3-PT, 5-6 FT), six rebounds, a career-high six assists, one steal and one block against Portland on Feb. 16. It was the first time in his career recording five or more assists.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -11.5 (-110) – Thunder: +11.5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Saturday, April 3
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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