Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers routed 76ers in Philadelphia, but is payback coming Thursday?

Trail Blazers

It was just a week ago when the Trail Blazers marched into Philadelphia, without Damian Lillard, as well as all their other injured players, and pummeled the Eastern Conference-leading 76ers 121-105.

It was a terrific performance by the undermanned Blazers and perhaps the worst game of the season for the Sixers, who came into the game with a 10-1 home record.

But now, just a week later, here comes Philadelphia into Portland, presumably ready to avenge a loss that had to be just a little embarrassing.

"They played with amazing heart," Phildelphia Coach Doc Rivers said of the Trail Blazers after the game. \

But the Sixers are one of the league's best teams and that game must still be nagging at them.

“I would expect that they will have it fresh in their minds,” Portland Coach Terry Stotts said. “You know, they let one get away at home, and I would expect them to come out and play an impactful game.”

The Sixers were without injured Ben Simmons, a factor at both ends of the court, the first time around but he is expected to play in this one.

“He's an important part of their team, obviously,” Stotts said. “We went into that game preparing for him to play. He was a last-minute scratch, so we did have a game plan for the event that he did play. So, we will refer to that.”


Portland also benefited from Seth Curry being hurt during the first half and not returning to the game.

“They had everybody last night against Sacramento, and, you know, they will be the team that has the best record in the East," Stotts said.

Enes Kanter, who drew the difficult assignment of defending Joel Embiid in that game, says he expects the 76ers to be primed for the rematch.

“Definitely (they will be) a more aggressive team,” he said. “Obviously, we were a couple players down. Everyone went out there and just beat them really bad.

“But I feel like we can’t just worry about what they're gonna do, we're just gonna go out there and play our basketball. Just play Blazer basketball and just go out there and compete.

“You know, obviously they're a pretty good team of really good players, but we have a lot of confidence in ourselves.”

They will likely need that confidence.