Trail Blazers Face Suns Again, This Time Without Nurkić (Concussion)

by Casey Holdahl
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The Portland Trail Blazers face the last NBA opponent on their 2017 preseason schedule -- and their first opponent once the regular season starts next week -- Wednesday night with a tilt versus the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm.

The Trail Blazers enter Wednesday’s contest riding a three-game winning streak after having bested the Kings 97-83 at the Golden1 Center in Sacramento Monday night. Phoenix last played Monday night as well, losing 120-102 to the Utah Jazz to fall to 1-2 for the preseason.

Wednesday night’s game will be the second of the 2017 exhibition season between the two teams, with the Suns winning the first meeting 114-112 at the Moda Center on October 3. Portland led by as many as 18 in the first half before the game turned into a contest between non-guaranteed players on both teams.

Damian Lillard finished with 18 points, four assists and two steals in limited minutes, while rookie Caleb Swanigan also finished with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting to go with six rebounds.

The Trail Blazers will be without Jusuf Nurkić in Wednesday night’s game, and likely for the rest of the preseason, after he suffered a concussion in Monday night’s victory. The 7-0 center entering his fourth season out of Bosnia and Herzegovina is averaging 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 1.0 block and 1.0 assists through four preseason appearances. Ed Davis, Meyers Leonard and Zach Collins are the players most likely to fill in for Nurkić, who has started at center in all four of Portland’s preseason game thus far.

Shabazz Napier (hamstring), Noah Vonleh (shoulder) and C.J. Wilcox (knee) are all out for Wednesday’s game.

There is no television broadcast for Wednesday night’s game. Brian Wheeler will have the radio call on 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Trail Blazers radio network starting at 7 pm.

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