The Trail Blazers wrap up their four-game road trip with their second meeting against the Golden State Warriors Sunday.
Portland is looking to take a 2-0 regular season series lead over Golden State following Friday’s 123-98 victory.
The Blazers offense was clicking in Friday’s blowout and Portland’s backcourt didn’t disappoint. Damian Lillard finished with 34 points, while McCollum notched 28 to go along with one rebound, four assists and three steals.
Lillard has now scored at least 29 points in six straight games against the Warriors. His career scoring average of 29.1 points per game against Golden State is his highest against any opponent.
The Trail Blazers have listed Nassir Little (COVID recovery) as questionable for Sunday’s game. Rodney Hood (left quad strain) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) are out.
Gary Trent Jr. was not on Sunday’s injury report. The backup guard has been dealing with a right calf strain that forced him to miss the previous three games.
As for the Warriors, James Wiseman (left ankle; sprain) is probable.Marquese Chriss (right syndesmosis; injury w/ fibula fracture), Alen Smailagic (right knee; soreness) and Klay Thompson (right Achilles tendon; repair) are out.
Our Trail Blazers Insider, Dwight Jaynes asked the Blazers after Friday’s victory if there are any advantages or disadvantages to winning the first of a back-to-back against the Warriors. Here’s what he found out:
After thrashing the Golden State Warriors 123-98 Friday night, Portland faces the task of coming back on one day’s rest and doing it again. If it happens, the Blazers would return from their first road trip of the season with a 3-1 record in California.
But it won’t be easy. Conventional wisdom in the league has always been that it’s difficult to beat the same team twice in a row. But in the past, those regular-season games have almost always featured a change of venue for the games -- with each team getting a home game.
But the condensed and safer (less travel in the COVID-19 era) schedule this season sometimes means getting two games played on the same visit to a city.
So will the Blazers be at a disadvantage in the next game?
The Warriors had a dismal shooting night from three-point range Friday, making just 7 of their 35 shots from distance -- 20 percent. Portland, meanwhile, went 20-43.
It would be pretty hard to believe those percentages would hold up through another game. Larger sample sizes tend to change that.
“It's hard to beat a team two in a row,” Damian Lillard said after the Friday game. “Especially, we had a good game tonight and it’s hard to come back and repeat a really good game against NBA teams, the way we did tonight. So, I would say it's gonna be harder for us.”
The only time in recent years that NBA teams have faced this situation is in the playoffs, where it happens in each series.
“You know,” Lillard said, “We’ve got to have that mentality like it's a playoff series. We’ve got to treat it like a playoff series and come back in here and get another one on Sunday.”
Here’s what you need to know about the Blazers and Warriors matchup --
- The Trail Blazers Jan. 3 matchup with the Warriors marks the second of three games between Portland and Golden State during the 2020-21 season. All three meetings are during the First Half of the season. The third and final meeting is slated for March 3.
- LAST SEASON: The Trail Blazers won the season series against the Warriors in 2020-21, 2-1.
- Damian Lillard averaged 43.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists in three games against the Warriors in 2019-20. Lillard scored 61 points against Golden State on Jan. 20, 2020.
- In 27 career games against the Warriors, Damian Lillard has averaged 28.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Lillard's career scoring average against the Warriors is his highest against any opponent.
- CJ McCollum averaged 22.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in two games against Golden State last season.
- In two games against the Warriors last season, Carmelo Anthony averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 2.00 steals. • Stephen Curry's last game against the Trail Blazers came on Feb. 13, 2019. Curry finished with 32 points (10-24 FG, 5-14 3-PT, 7-7 FT) and seven rebounds.
- MILESTONE WATCH: Terry Stotts (478 career victories) will move past Scott Skiles for 35th on the all-time NBA wins list with the Trail Blazers next victory.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -4.5 (-110) -- Warriors: +4.5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Sunday, January 3
Where: Chase Center | San Francisco, CA
Start time: 5:30 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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