Six-Game Trip Starts Tuesday In Indianapolis

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

It’s been a rough April for the Portland Trail Blazers. Since the start of the month they’ve won just three games -- they’ve lost 10, including their last five -- and have gone from being just a half game out of fourth in the Western Conference standings to being just game away from falling to ninth. In short, it has not the late-season rally we’ve become accustomed to seeing from the Trail Blazers in recent seasons.

So considering that they’ve got a better record on the road than they do at home this season, perhaps an extended road trip is what they need in order to spark a playoff push. They start their longest trip of the season Tuesday versus the Pacers in Indianapolis in the first game of a back-to-back. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY

ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 57-35
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 36-10
INDIANA HOME: Pacers lead, 25-21
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 139-129, 1/26/20 (Portland)
LAST INDIANA WIN: 111-87, 1/14/21 (Portland)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Two (Indiana)

SERIES NOTES

• The Trail Blazers April 27 game against the Pacers will be the final meeting between Portland and Indiana in 2020-21. Indiana leads the season series, 1-0.

LAST GAME: The Trail Blazers fell to the Pacers on the second night of a back-to-back, 111-87, on Jan. 14 at Moda Center. Damian Lillard paced Portland with 22 points (7-16 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 6-6 FT), six rebounds, four assists and one steal. Malcolm Brodgon led Indiana with 25 points (10-18 FG, 3-6 3-PT, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

• Damian Lillard is averaging 34.0 points (55.6% FG, 53.8% 3-PT, 90.3% FT), 4.7 rebounds, 10.7 assists and 1.70 steals over his last three games against Indiana, including a 50-point, 13-assist performance on Jan. 26, 2020 in Portland.

• CJ McCollum added 22 points (8-18 FG, 4-10 3-PT, 2-2 FT), three rebounds, four assists and one steal against Indiana on Jan. 14. McCollum is averaging 21.9 points over 11 career games against Indiana, his second-highest career average against any team.

• Carmelo Anthony recorded 10 points (4-11 FG, 2-5 3-PT), two rebounds and two steals on Jan. 14 against the Pacers. Anthony has scored in double-figures in each of his last three games against Indiana.

• Domantas Sabonis had 23 points (10-18 FG, 3-4 FT), 15 rebounds, five assists and two steals in 38 minutes against the Trail Blazers on Jan. 14. On Jan. 26th of last season, Sabonis recorded his ninth career triple-double, finishing with 27 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists against Portland.

MILESTONE WATCH: Damian Lillard (1,996 career 3PM) is 10th on the NBA all-time list for made three-pointers. With four more three-pointers, Lillard will be the second-fastest player in league history to reach 2,000 made threes (Curry, 597 games).

CONNECTION: Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts was a 2020 inductee to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Stotts was a 1976 Indiana All-Star and all-state selection as a senior at Bloomington North after averaging 24.4 points and 13.6 rebounds.

LAST THREE GAMES

Game #60 - Memphis 120, Portland 113 — April 25, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

A furious 4th quarter Trail Blazer comeback came just short, as Portland fell to Memphis in consecutive games, 120-113 ... Portland recorded 50+ rebounds in consecutive contests for the first time this season ... CJ McCollum led Portland with 27 points (10-21 FG, 4-10 3-PT, 3-3 FT), two rebounds and three assists ... Damian Lillard added 23 points (8-27 FG, 4-10 3-PT, 3-3 FT), six rebounds and five assists ... Jusuf Nurkic recorded 16 points (6-13 FG, 4-5 FT), 19 rebounds, five assists and two blocks ... Nurkic recorded 15+ rebounds in consecutive games for the first time in his career ... Norman Powell had 17 points (7-15 FG, 3-4 FT), five rebounds, four assists and three steals ... Carmelo Anthony finished with 12 points (4-8 3-PT) and three rebounds ... Ja Morant paced the Grizzlies with 28 points (8-15 FG, 3-4 3-PT, 9-12 FT), eight rebounds, three assists and two steals ... Jonas Valanciunas recorded his 41st double-double, with 21 points and 10 boards.

Game #59 - Memphis 130, Portland 128 — April 23, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

Portland was not able to hold off Memphis late, giving up a third consecutive loss by two or fewer points as they fell 130-128 Friday night in Portland ... Portland had six players score in double-figures for the second consecutive game ... Damian Lillard led Portland in scoring with 27 points (8-22 FG, 3-11 3-PT, 8-10 FT), three rebounds and five assists ... Jusuf Nurkic recorded season-highs in both scoring and rebounding, finishing with 26 points, 17 rebounds and five assists ... CJ McCollum added 22 points (8-16 FG, 4-10 3-PT, 2-2 FT), tied a season-high with nine rebounds and had seven assists ... Norman Powell had 13 points (5-12 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 2-3 FT), two rebounds and two assists ... Carmelo Anthony had 13 points ... Enes Kanter recorded 12 points and seven boards off the bench ... Ja Morant led Memphis with 33 points (11-17 FG, 1-3 3-PT, 10-12 FT), five rebounds and 13 assists ... It was his fourth career game with at least 30 and 10.

Game #58 - Denver 106, Portland 105 — April 21, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

The Trail Blazers suffered a second one-point loss in as many nights, falling to the Nuggets 106-105 Wednesday night in Portland ... Portland had six players score in double-figures for the 15th time this season ... Damian Lillard paced the Trail Blazers with 22 points (9-23 FG, 2-10 3-PT, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, five assists and two steals ... Lillard passed Jason Kidd and is now in sole possession of 10th on the NBA all-time list for made threes ... CJ McCollum added 14 points (6-13 FG, 2-7 3-PT), a season-high nine rebounds, five assists and two steals ... Norman Powell had 17 points (4-10 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 8-8 FT) and two rebounds, assists and steals ... Robert Covington recorded 12 points and eight boards ... Jusuf Nurkic finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and six assists ... Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 25 points (9-18 FG, 1-6 3-PT, 6-7 FT), nine rebounds and five assists ... Michael Porter Jr. scored 17 points, all coming in the first quarter.

INJURY NOTES

Zach Collins (left ankle, stress fracture) is out for Tuesday’s game at Indiana.

As for the Pacers, Goga Bitadze (left ankle; sprain) and Jeremy Lamb (left knee; sore) are questionable; Domantas Sabonis (sore lower back), Myles Turner (right toe; partial plantar plate tear) and T.J. Warren (left foot; stress fracture) are out.

BROADCAST NOTES

Tuesday’s game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest. The game can be heard on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.

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