Photo / Cody Sharrett

Blazers Return From Holiday Break To Host Sixers On TNT

by Cody Sharrett

The Portland Trail Blazers (17-16) return to play after a rare four-day break in action Thursday night when they host the Philadelphia 76ers (15-18) at Moda Center in Portland. The 76ers took the first meeting between the two sides, 101-81, on November 22 in the City of Brotherly Love. 

Portland returns home following a 95-92 road win versus the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday night behind Maurice Harkless’ 22-point effort. Leading scorer and point guard Damian Lillard is expected to return to the lineup against the Sixers after missing the previous two contests with a right hamstring strain. 

“A hamstring is different than an ankle or anything else, Lillard told media Wednesday. “I want to be smart. I already sat out two games, I felt like that made sense. I didn’t want to try and be tough and all of that stuff and not allow it to heal.

“As far as I know, I’m playing (Thursday).”

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The 76ers visit the Rose City to begin a three-game road trip versus Western Conference opponents. Philadelphia won on Christmas Day in New York, topping the Knicks 105-98 led by Joel Embiid’s 25 points and 16 rebounds. J.J. Redick scored 24 points in the win. 

Thursday is the second TNT matchup for the Blazers in 2017-18, following their dramatic 113-110 win over the Lakers on November 2. Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Dennis Scott have the call from Moda Center at 7:30 p.m on TNT. Fans can listen locally on Rip City Radio 620.