Road Trip Continues With Second Of Back-To-Back In DC
The Trail Blazers' first Eastern Conference road trip of the season continues with the second game of a back-to-back in Washington DC versus the Wizards (10-8) at the Verizon Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The Trail Blazers (11-8) are coming off a 127-125 victory versus the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center Friday afternoon. In that game, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkić all took 19 shots, resulting in all three players scoring at least 26 points in the victory. According to Elias Sports, they're the first trio of Trail Blazers to score at least 25 points in a game since Clyde Drexler, Cliff Robinson and Rod Strickland did it back in 1995.
“I think we played a really good offensive game," said Damian Lillard, who led all scorers with 34 points to go with nine assists and four rebounds. "Obviously we scored a lot of points. We had some good bounce the way the ball moved, guys getting the ball in positions where they can do things that we normally do, so that’s how we want to play offensively. We just gotta figure out how to have those kind of offensive games and not lose the defense. With that many points, it’s going to be a dog fight.”
Third-year guard Pat Connaughton got just the second start of his career for Portland in the victory in place of Maurice Harkless. The 6-5 guard out of Notre Dame scored four points and handed out two assists in 15 minutes. He is expected to start again Saturday night versus the Wizards.
Portland improved to 4-4 on the road this season with the win and are 2-1 on their current road trip after defeating the Grizzlies and losing to the 76ers.
As for the Wizards, they enter Saturday's contest having lost three of their last four, the most recent being a 129-124 overtime loss to the Hornets in Charlotte to finish off a three-game road trip on Wednesday. Washington's backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 53 points in the loss. Wall and Beal are the only starting backcourt tandem besides Lillard and McCollum in which both players are averaging at least 20 points per game this season.
Though the Wizards starting backcourt won't be at full strength, as it was announced Saturday morning that Wall would miss the next two weeks due to inflamation in his left knee. Former Trail Blazer Tim Frazier is expected to start in his place.
The Wizards swept the season series 2-0 last season. The Trail Blazers have won just once in the past five meetings in Washington DC.
Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu will sit out Saturday's game with a right ankle sprain. It is the 12th game he's missed due to the injury, which he suffered in a loss to the Jazz in Utah on November 1.
Saturday's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. Brian Wheeler will have the radio call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.