Trail Blazers, Clippers Face Off For Second Time This Season
After three days off, the Portland Trail Blazers return to action Tuesday night for a nationally-televised tilt against the L.A. Clippers at Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
While the time and place for Tuesday’s game is set, which players will actually be available come tipoff is not so certain, as the Clippers announced Monday night that they had traded all-star power forward Blake Griffin, center Willie Reed and forward Brice Johnson to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic and several draft picks. It seems unlikely that any of the Clippers new players will be in uniform for Tuesday night, and considering they have mutiple players already out due to inury, it's unknown how many players they will have available come tipoff.
Though the Clippers have done a nice job of getting wins while playing shorthanded this season. While they've dealt with a multitude of injuries this season of varying degrees, the Clippers have managed to hover around .500 for most of the season thanks to the play of Blake, Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan.
"Despite all the injuries and everything they've been through this season, they've stayed afloat," said Damian Lillard. "They continue to complete and I think they've learned something about themselves to where they can depend on a lot of guys. They're going to play hard, they're going to compete... They've got a lot of belief right now. We're going to have to go in there and win the game. They beat us, so we're going to have to go in there and do what we've been doing and try to go win a game."
The Clippers took the first meeting versus the Blazers 104-103 back on October 26 at the Moda Center, with Griffin hitting the go-ahead three-pointer as time expired to steal the victory.
But that was more than three month ago. More recently, the Trail Blazers have won five of their last six and two straight, the most recent being a 107-93 victory versus the Mavericks Friday night in Dallas. Lillard led all scorers with 29 points in the winning effort while Ed Davis put up season highs of 15 points and 13 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench.
As for the Clippers, they enter Tuesday's contest having beaten the Pelicans 112-103 Sunday night in New Orleans. It was the Pelicans' first game playing without DeMarcus Cousins, who is out for the season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon.
Tuesday night's game can be seen locally and nationally on TNT starting at 7:30 p.m. Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton will have the call on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM starting at 7:30 p.m.