Five-Game Homestand Ends Friday Night With Hornets

by Casey Holdahl
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After winning five of their last six games, the Portland Trail Blazers (25-17) wrap up a five-game, nearly two-week homestand by hosting the Charlotte Hornets (19-21) Friday night at the Moda Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 40-16
IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 22-6
AT THE HORNETS: Trail Blazers lead, 18-10
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 109-103 (ot), 2/8/18 (Portland)
LAST HORNETS WIN: 107-85, 1/18/17 (Charlotte)


• Friday’s game marks the first of two meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Hornets during the 2018-19 season. Portland swept the season series in 2017-18, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: The Trail Blazers edged out the the Hornets in overtime, 109-103, at Moda Center on Feb. 8. Jusuf Nurkic led Portland with 24 points (10-14 FG, 4-5 FT) to go with 14 rebounds, four blocks and two steals. Kemba Walker scored 40 points (13-26 FG, 6-11 3-PT, 8-8 FT) to go with three assists and four steals for the Hornets.

AT THE LINE: The Trail Blazers are third in the NBA in free throw percentage (81.1%) on 23.1 attempts per game while the Hornets are seventh in the league in free throw percentage (79.5%) on 23.6 attempts per game.

• In two games against the Hornets last season, CJ McCollum averaged 23.5 points (48.6% FG, 54.5% 3-PT, 77.8% FT), 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. McCollum has shot above 50.0% from the field and the three-point line in two of his last three games against Charlotte.

• Jusuf Nurkic averaged 19.0 points (62.5% FG, 66.7% FT), 9.5 rebounds, 1.00 steal and 2.50 blocks in two games against Charlotte in 2017-18. Nurkic has 12 blocks in six career games against the Hornets.

• In two games against the Hornets last season, Damian Lillard averaged 18.0 points (31.7% FG, 30.0% 3-PT, 80.0% FT), 5.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.00 steal. Lillard has scored at least 20 points in 10 of his 12 career games against the Hornets.

• In two games against the Trail Blazers last season, Kemba Walker averaged 27.0 points (38.5% FG, 30.0% 3-PT, 100% FT), 3.5 re- bounds, 4.5 assists and 2.50 steals. He has scored 20-plus points in three of his last four games against Portland.

• Nicolas Batum averaged 17.0 points (43.8% FG, 35.3% 3-PT), 3.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.00 steals in two games against Portland last season.

CONNECTION: Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry grew up in Charlotte and attended Charlotte Christian High School. His father, Dell, played for the Charlotte Hornets from 1988-98.

CONNECTION: Hornets forward Nicolas Batum spent his first seven NBA seasons (2008-15) with Portland, averaging 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists.


Damian Lillard (left elbow sprain) is questionable for Friday night's game while Maurice Harkless (left knee), Caleb Swanigan (G League) and G Wade Baldwin (G League) are all out.

As for the Hornets, Joe Chealey (G League) and Cody Zeller (right hand) are out. *Devonte' Graham* (right ankle) is questionable.


Friday's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. NBC Sports Northwest also streams 76 live games during the 2018-19 Trail Blazers season. NBA League Pass will also carry the game, though blackouts based on location apply. The game will also air on ESPN.

Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.


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