Game Notes: Trail Blazers (1-1) vs. Clippers (0-2)

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (1-1) at LA CLIPPERS (0-2)
Monday, October 25, 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California

SERIES HISTORY

ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 147-84
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 88-26
LA CLIPPERS HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 59-58
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 125-104, 3/12/19 (LA)
LAST LA CLIPPERS WIN: 123-112, 4/20/21 (Portland)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Six (LA)

SERIES NOTES

• Monday's game is the first of four meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Clippers this season. Portland plays the Clippers three times in its first 11 games (Oct. 29 and Nov. 9). The team's meet for the fourth and final time this season on Dec. 6.

LAST SEASON: The Clippers won the season series against the Trail Blazers in 2020-21, 3-0.

• Through two games, the Trail Blazers rank second in the NBA in field goal percentage (51.3% FG). The Clippers have given up the second-highest field goal percentage to their opponents through two games (49.1% FG).

• Norman Powell averaged 27.5 points (47.4% FG, 29.4% 3-PT, 93.3% FT), 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in two games against the Clippers with Portland last season.

• CJ McCollum played in three games against the Clippers last season, averaging 25.7 points (48.3% FG, 44.4% 3-PT, 81.8% FT), 4.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.67 steals.

• In two games against the Clippers last season, Damian Lillard averaged 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

• In three games against the Trail Blazers last season, Paul George averaged 30.7 points (58.2% FG, 46.2% 3-PT, 88.9% FT), 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

CONNECTION: Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups and assistant coach Roy Rogers were both assistant coaches with the LA Clippers last season. Billups played two seasons for the Clippers from 2011-13.

CONNECTION: Clippers forward Nicolas Batum played the first seven seasons of his career for the Trail Blazers, averaging 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

CONNECTION: Portland center Cody Zeller and Clippers forward Nicolas Batum were teammates in Charlotte for five seasons from 2015-20.

NEWS AND NOTES

LEADING THE WAY: The Trail Blazers hired Chauncey Billups as the 15th head coach in franchise history on June 27, 2021. Billups is making his debut as a head coach in the 2021-22 season. He spent the 2020-21 season as an assistant coach for the LA Clippers, helping lead the team to a 47-25 record and a trip to the Western Conference Finals.

NBA 75th ANNIVERSARY TEAM: Damian Lillard was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team on Oct. 21. He joins former Trail Blazers Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippen, Carmelo Anthony, and Lenny Wilkens on the list.

LETTING IT FLY: The Trail Blazers attempted 50 three-pointers (made 21) against the Suns on Oct. 23. It was the fifth time in fran- chise history that Portland attempted at least 50 shots from deep

TOP 100 SCORER: With his 13th point against the Kings on Oct. 20, Damian Lillard moved past Elton Brand for 100th on the NBA all-time scoring list. Lillard has played the fewest games of anyone on the list (683).

CJ SCORING: CJ McCollum scored the 10,000th point of his career on Oct. 20 against the Kings. He is the eighth player in team history with 10,000 points. With his final basket of the night, McCollum passed Jim Paxson for seventh on the franchise scoring list.

NEW IN TOWN: During the 2021 offseason, the Trail Blazers added Tony Snell, Dennis Smith Jr., Ben McLemore, Trendon Watford and Cody Zeller via free agency, Larry Nance Jr. via trade and Greg Brown III via the 2021 NBA draft. McLemore (53.0%), Snell (54.4%) and Zeller (58.5%) have all started over half of their career games since being drafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, while Nance has started 123 of his 350 career games (35.1%).

RETURNING PLAYERS: The Trail Blazers are returning nine players from their 2021 Playoff roster. Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Robert Covington, Jusuf Nurkic, Anfernee Simons, Nassir Little, CJ Elleby and Keljin Blevins combined to play 58.1% of Portland's regular season minutes during the 2020-21 season.

DISRUPTIVE FRONTCOURT: Robert Covington and Jusuf Nurkic are two of the five NBA players that have averaged at least 1.00 steal and 1.00 block in each of the last two seasons. Covington is one of three players (A. Davis/A. Drummond) that have done so each of the past three seasons. Joining the Portland pair this season is forward Larry Nance Jr., who has averaged at least 1.00 steal in each of the last five seasons.

CONSISTENT EXCELLENCE: Damian Lillard scored 19 points (6-8 FG, 5-7 3-PT, 2-2 FT) against the Warriors in Portland's first preseason game on Oct. 4. Lillard is one of two players (L. James) who has averaged at least 25.0 points in each of the last six seasons.

RIGHT BACK AT IT: Damian Lillard (19 points, 5-7 3-PT), CJ Mc- Collum (12 points, 2-4 3-PT) and Norman Powell (13 points, 2-5 3-PT) each played 18 minutes or less against Golden State on Oct. 4, but were back in their 2020-21 form. The trio are three of the 12 players that averaged at least 18.0 points and 2.5 three-pointers in 2020-21 while shooting better than 39.0% from the three-point-line.

BACKCOURT BUCKETS: Anfernee Simons scored 24 points (8-20 FG, 1-9 3-PT, 7-7 FT) against the Kings on Oct. 11. He has topped 24 points three times in a regular season game in his career. His career high for free throws is four (seven times). Off the bench, Dennis Smith Jr. pitched in 18 points and seven assists in 26 minutes.

MANNING THE MIDDLE: Jusuf Nurkic logged a double-double of 15 points (5-8 FG, 2-4 3-PT, 3-4 FT) and 10 rebounds to go with four assists against the Warriors on Oct. 11. His two three-pointers were the most he has made in a game in his career (preseason, regular season and postseason).

LAST FIVE GAMES

Game #2 - Portland 134, Phoenix 105 — October 23, 2021, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

The Trail Blazers earned their first win of the season by defeating the Suns at Moda Center, 134-105 ... The victory marked the first win as a head coach for Chauncey Billups ... The Trail Blazers connected on 21 of their 50 three-point attempts ... CJ McCollum had a game-high 28 points (10- 29 FG, 6-11 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with three rebounds, one assist and three blocks ... Damian Lillard added 19 points and eight assists ... Anfernee Simons scored 18 points off the bench on 7-of-14 shooting (4-8 3-PT) to go with three rebounds and one assist ... Norman Powell had 16 points (6-8 FG, 2-4 3-PT, 2-2 FT) and two rebounds in 12 first-half minutes before exiting the game with a left knee injury ... Jusuf Nurkic had nine points, 12 rebounds and three assists ... Devin Booker paced the Suns with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes.

Game #1 - Sacramento 124, Portland 121 — October 20, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

The Trail Blazers lost their season-opener to the Kings, 124-121, at Moda Center ... Portland trailed by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter before narrowing the gap to one point with 11.1 seconds remaining in the game ... The Trail Blazers outrebounded Sacramento, 49-43, and outscored the Kings in the paint, 58-46 ... CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 34 points (14-24 FG, 6-11 3-PT) to go with six rebounds, five assists and three steals ... McCollum scored the 10,000th point of his career with a three-pointer at the 9:27 mark of the fourth quarter ... Damian Lillard had 20 points (8-24 FG, 0-9 3-PT, 4-5 FT), six rebounds and 11 assists in 40 minutes ... With his 13th point (5:34 3rd quarter), Lillard moved past Elton Brand for 100th on the all-time NBA scoring list ... Harrison Barnes led the Kings with a career-high 36 points to go with nine rebounds and two assists.

Preseason Game #4 - Golden State 119, Portland 97 — October 15, 2021, Chase Center, San Francisco

The Trail Blazers lost their preseason finale to the Warriors, 119-97, at Chase Center ... The Warriors outscored Portland, 43-26, in the third quarter to break the game open ... CJ McCollum scored 26 points (11-22 FG, 4-11 3-PT) to go with one rebound, four assists and two steals for the Trail Blazers ... Jusuf Nurkic recorded a double-double of 11 points (4-13 FG, 3-3 FT), 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks ... Norman Powell scored 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting (2-6 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with five rebounds ... Robert Covington had 10 points, five rebounds, one steal and three blocks in 28 minutes ... CJ Elleby led the Portland bench with nine points (4-9 FG, 1-5 3-PT) ... Stephen Curry had a game-high 41 points (13-23 FG, 7-14 3-PT, 8-10 FT) to go with nine rebounds and two assists for the Warriors ... Jordan Poole chipped in 16 points, three rebounds and one assist.

Preseason Game #3 - Phoenix 119, Portland 74 — October 13, 2021, Footprint Center, Phoenix

Portland fell to 0-3 on the preseason with a 119-74 road loss to the Suns in Phoenix ... The Trail Blazers were held to 29.8% shooting from the field and 15.4% shooting from the three-point-line ... Damian Lillard led the way for Portland with 12 points (5-11 FG, 1-6 3-PT, 1-2 FT) to go with two rebounds and two assists ... Jusuf Nurkic had a game-high 13 rebounds to go with eight points and two steals ... Robert Covington scored 10 points and added six rebounds and three steals ... CJ McCollum had 10 points and four assists ... Dennis Smith Jr. had nine points to lead the Portland reserves, including seven free throws (of 10) ... Devin Booker paced the Suns with 17 points (6-10 FG, 3-6 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with three rebounds and one assist ... Deandre Ayton had eight points and 11 rebounds in 15 minutes of action.

Preseason Game #2 - Sacramento 107, Portland 93 — October 11, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

The Trail Blazers lost their second consecutive preseason game, 107-93, to Sacramento at Moda Center ... Portland was without eight rotation players ... Anfernee Simons led the way for Portland in his first start of the preseason, finishing with 24 points (8-20 FG, 1-9 3-PT, 7-7 FT), two rebounds, one assist and one block ... Dennis Smith Jr. came off the bench to add 18 points (7-9 FG, 2-3 3-PT, 2-3 FT), two rebounds and seven assists in 26 minutes ... Marquese Chriss added 10 points and four rebounds ... Greg Brown III led the Trail Blazers with nine rebounds while scoring six points in 20 minutes ... Jusuf Nurkic had five points, eight rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes of action ... Sacramento was led by Davion Mitchell, who finished with 20 points (7-12 FG, 6-9 3-PT), two rebounds and four assists ... Portland turned the ball over 27 times to Sacramento's 13 turnovers.

INJURY NOTES

For the Trail Blazers, Norman Powell (left patellar tendinopathy) and Tony Snell (right foot sprain) are out for Monday's game at LA Clippers.

For the Clippers, Keon Johnson (illness) is questionable; Serge Ibaka (low back; injury recovery), Kawhi Leonard (right knee; ACL injury recovery) and Jason Preston (right foot; injury recovery) are out.

BROADCAST NOTES

Monday’s game can be seen locally on ROOT Sports with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam calling the action. It will also be the first game with Neil Everett manning the studio for pre, halftime and postgame shows. 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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