PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (13-21) AT LOS ANGELES LAKERS (17-19)
Friday, December 31, 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) • Crypto.com Arena
Los Angeles, California
ALL TIME: Lakers lead, 123-111
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 71-45
L.A. LAKERS HOME: Lakers lead, 78-40
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 105-90, 11/6/21 (Por.)
LAST L.A. LAKERS WIN: 102-93, 2/26/21 (LAL)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Two (Por.)
• Friday’s game is the second of four meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Lakers during the 2021-22 season. Portland leads the season series, 1-0.
• LAST MEETING: The Trail Blazers beat the Lakers in Portland on Nov. 6, 105-90. Damian Lillard led the charge for Portland, recording 25 points (9-19 FG, 6-14 3-PT, 1-2 FT), three rebounds, six assists and two steals. The Lakers were paced by Malik Monk, who scored 13 points (5-11 FG, 3-7 3-PT) off the bench to go with four rebounds, three assists and one block.
• Damian Lillard has scored 25-plus points in seven straight games against the Lakers, including five games with 30-plus points. In his last three road games against the Lakers, Lillard put up 35 points (2/26/21), 31 points (12/28/20) and 48 points (1/31/20).
• Norman Powell had 13 points (4-11 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 4-6 FT), two rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks against the Lakers on Nov. 6. Powell is from San Diego and played collegiately at UCLA.
• Anfernee Simons scored 10 points (4-14 FG, 0-6 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with five rebounds and four assists against the Lakers on Nov. 6.
• In two games against the Trail Blazers in 2020-21, LeBron James averaged 28.5 points (53.7% FG, 41.7% 3-PT, 61.5% FT), 10.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 3.00 steals and 2.00 blocks. He missed the Nov. 6 game against Portland with an abdominal strain.
• Russell Westbrook recorded eight points (1-13 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 5-8 FT), nine rebounds, six assists and two steals against Portland on Nov. 6.
• CONNECTION: Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony played two seasons for the Trail Blazers from 2019-21, averaging 14.3 points (42.5% FG, 39.9% 3-PT, 86.7% FT), 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 127 games (61 starts).
• CONNECTION: Portland forward/center Larry Nance Jr. was drafted by the Lakers with the 27th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. In 168 games (46 starts) over three seasons with the Lakers, Nance averaged 6.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists.
NEWS AND NOTES
LILLARD’S LAST SEVEN: In the last seven games, Damian Lillard has averaged 32.0 points (43.4% FG, 41.3% 3-PT, 88.1% FT), 3.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists. He ranks second in the NBA in total points scored in that span with 224 (James, 227).
MAXIMUM NORM: Norman Powell scored a season-high 32 points (11-23 FG, 4-9 3-PT, 6-6 FT) against the Jazz on Dec. 29, matching his highest-scoring output in a Trail Blazers uniform. Powell is one of five players in the NBA that is averaging at least 18.0 points while shooting better than 46.0% from the field and 40.0% from the three-point line.
NANCE DOING IT ALL: Larry Nance Jr. recorded 14 points (6-13 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 1-2 FT), nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals against Utah on Dec. 29. His nine assists marked a career high. Nance has scored in double figures in each of the last three games, marking his longest such streak of the season.
NAS DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Nassir Little logged his third career double-double on Dec. 27 against Dallas, finishing with a season-high 20 points (7-14 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 4-7 FT), 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks. At 21 years and 319 days old, Little is the youngest player in franchise history to record that statline.
40/40 CLUB: Damian Lillard scored a season-high 43 points (12-19 FG, 6-11 3-PT, 13-14 FT) against Charlotte on Dec. 17. It was his 40th career game with 40-plus points, making him one of 25 players in league history to score at least 40 points 40 times.
LAST FIVE GAMES
Game #34 – Utah 120, Portland 105 — December 29, 2021, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Portland fell to the Utah Jazz at Moda Center, 120-105 … The Trail Blazers were outscored in the paint, 74-30 … Portland was missing seven players in health and safety protocols for the second consecutive game … Damian Lillard scored 32 points (10-23 FG, 5-14 3-PT, 7-10 FT) to go with six rebounds, four assists and one steal … Norman Powell had 32 points (11-23 FG, 4-9 3-PT, 6-6 FT), two rebounds, one assist and one steal in 43 minutes … Powell scored 25 points in the first half … His 32 points tied the most points he has scored in a Trail Blazers uniform … Larry Nance Jr. recorded 14 points (6-13 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 1-2 FT), nine rebounds, a career-high nine assists and three steals in 32 minutes … Anfernee Simons scored seven points to go with five rebounds and five assists … Rudy Gobert led Utah with 22 points (8-10 FG, 6-12 FT), 14 rebounds and two blocks … Rudy Gay scored 21 points off the bench.
Game #33 – Dallas 132, Portland 117 — December 27, 2021, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
After five days off since their last game, the Trail Blazers fell to the Mavericks in Portland, 132-117 … The Trail Blazers were missing seven players in the health and safety protocols … Portland made a season-high 35 free throws (of 42) … Damian Lillard led Portland with 26 points (5-15 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 13-14 FT), two rebounds and five assists … Nassir Little had a season-high 20 points (7-14 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 4-7 FT) to go with 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks … It was his third career double-double … Norman Powell added 15 points, two rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes … Anfernee Simons had 11 points off the bench … A day after signing 10-day contracts, Cameron McGriff (three points), Brandon Williams (seven points) and Jarron Cumberland (two points) made their NBA debuts … Kristaps Porzingis had 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists to lead Dallas.
Game #32 – New Orleans 111, Portland 97 — December 21, 2021, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Pelicans defeated the Trail Blazers in New Orleans, 111-97 … Portland’s bench struggled in the loss, getting outscored by the Pelicans reserves, 40-15 … Damian Lillard led the charge for the Trail Blazers, finishing with 39 points (13-24 FG, 6-11 3-PT, 7-8 FT), two rebounds, seven assists and one steal … Jusuf Nurkic added 17 points (6-10 FG, 5-8 FT), five rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in 32 minutes … Norman Powell scored 16 points (6-14 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 2-3 FT) to go with four rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block … Larry Nance Jr. swiped a season-high four steals to go with 10 points, six rebounds and two assists … Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 28 points (12-22 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 5-5 FT), eight rebounds and eight assists in 37 minutes … Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 27 points (10-16 FG, 6-9 3-PT, 1-1 FT) in 26 minutes off the New Orleans bench.
Game #31 – Portland 105, Memphis 100 — December 19, 2021, FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
The Trail Blazers won their second straight game and notched their second road win of the season with a 105-100 victory over the Grizzlies in Memphis … Portland outrebounded the Grizzlies, 51-33 … Portland turned the ball over 25 times while the Grizzlies had eight turnovers … Damian Lillard scored 32 points (9-19 FG, 3-9 3-PT, 11-12 FT) to go with five rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes … Norman Powell had 28 points (10-16 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 3-4 FT), three rebounds, four assists and one block … In 34 minutes off the bench, Robert Covington logged 13 points (5-7 FG, 3-5 3-PT), eight rebounds, one steal and four blocks … Nassir Little added 12 points (4-8 FG, 4-5 FT), nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks … Jusuf Nurkic had nine points and 11 rebounds … Dillon Brooks led Memphis with a season-high 37 points (12-25 FG, 4-10 3-PT, 9-9 FT), three rebounds and three assists.
Game #30 – Portland 125, Charlotte 116 — December 17, 2021, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
The Trail Blazers snapped a seven-game losing streak and a six-game skid at Moda Center with a 125-116 win over the Hornets … Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with a season-high 43 points (12-19 FG, 6-11 3-PT, 13-14 FT), four rebounds, eight assists and one steal in 37 minutes … It was the 40th 40-point game of Lillard’s career … Ben McLemore scored 28 points in 27 minutes off the bench, shooting 10-of-16 from the field (8-13 3-PT) … McLemore scored 20 points in the second quarter while connecting on six three-pointers … Norman Powell had 14 points, three rebounds and five assists … Robert Covington had seven points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks … Nassir Little had career highs of six assists and three blocks to go with three points and eight rebounds … LaMelo Ball led the Hornets with 27 points (11-17 FG, 3-5 3-PT, 2-2 FT), four rebounds and five assists.
For the Trail Blazers, Nassir Little (right ankle sprain), Ben McLemore (health & safety protocols – recovery), Dennis Smith Jr. (health & safety protocols – recovery) are probable; CJ McCollum (right lung pneumothorax), Anfernee Simons (health & safety protocols), Brandon Williams (health & safety protocols), Jusuf Nurkic (health & safety protocols), Cody Zeller (health & safety protocols), Robert Covington (health & safety protocols), Keljin Blevins (health & safety protocols), Trendon Watford (health & safety protocols) are out
For the Lakers, LeBron James (rectus abdominis; strain) is probable; Avery Bradley (head; contusion) and Trevor Ariza (return to competition reconditioning) are questionable; Rajon Rondo (health and safety protocols), Kendrick Nunn (right knee; bone bruise) and Anthony Davis (left knee; MCL sprain) are out.
Friday’s game can be seen locally on ROOT SPORTS with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam calling the action. On the radio side, Travis Demers, Michael Holton and Jay Allen will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.
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