Important Road Back-To-Back Begins With Pelicans

by Casey Holdahl
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The Trail Blazers begin a road back-to-back with potential playoff implications with a contest versus the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night at Smoothie King Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

SERIES NOTES

ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 33-27
IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 21-9
AT THE PELICANS: Trail Blazers lead, 17-13
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 122-110, 3/15/19 (New Orleans)
LAST PELICANS WIN: 102-94, 12/23/19 (Portland)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Two (New Orleans)

GAME NOTES

• Tuesday’s game will be the third of four matchups between the Trail Blazers and the Pelicans during the 2019-20 season. New Orleans leads the season series, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: The Pelicans defeated the Trail Blazers, 102-94, on Dec. 23 at Moda Center. Carmelo Anthony paced Portland with 23 points (9-17 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 4-4 FT), nine rebounds and two assists, while Jrue Holiday led New Orleans with 21 points (7-21 FG, 4-11 3-PT, 3-3 FT), six rebounds and five assists.

PRECISION SHOOTERS: Portland and New Orleans are each shooting 37.2% from 3-PT range this season, tied for the fourth-best mark in the NBA.

• Damian Lillard had 18 points (6-21 FG, 6-6 FT), three rebounds, seven assists and two steals in against New Orleans on Dec. 23. He missed the first game between the two teams due to back spasms. Lillard had scored at least 20 points in each of his last six games against New Orleans prior to the matchup on Dec. 23.

• CJ McCollum is averaging 21.0 points (40.9% FG, 30.0% 3-PT), 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.50 steals in two games against the Pelicans this season. McCollum has scored at least 20 points in each of his last four games against New Orleans.

• Jrue Holiday has scored at least 20 points in five of his last six games against Portland. He recorded one of his three career triple-doubles against the Trail Blazers on Mar. 27, 2018, finishing with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in 40 minutes.

• Brandon Ingram is averaging 20.0 points (36.8% FG, 30.0% 3-PT, 100% FT), 9.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.00 steals in two games against Portland during the 2019-20 season. His 21 points against the Trail Blazers on Nov. 19 of this season was a career-best against Portland.

CONNECTION: Trail Blazers guard Gary Trent Jr. and Grizzlies guard Grayson Allen were teammates at Duke University during the 2017-2018 season.

CONNECTION: Portland forward Trevor Ariza played two seasons in New Orleans from 2010-12, posting averages of 10.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 116 games (all starts).

INJURY NOTES

Anfernee Simons (concussion) is probable; Mario Hezonja (left ankle sprain), Nassir Little (left ankle sprain), Rodney Hood (left ruptured Achilles tendon), Zach Collins (left shoulder dislocation), and Jusuf Nurkic (left leg fracture) are out for Tuesday's game at New Orleans.

As for the Pelicans, Zion Williamson (left ankle sprain) is probable; Brandon Ingram (right ankle sprain) is questionable; Darius Miller (right Achilles surgery), Kenrich Williams (right lower back soreness), Zylan Cheatham (Two-way) and Josh Gray (Two-way) are out.

BROADCAST NOTES

Tuesday's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam calling the action. Travis Demers and Michael Holton will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations on the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.

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