Trail Blazers Game Notes: Portland Trail Blazers (18-26) vs. Boston Celtics (23-23)
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (18-26) AT BOSTON CELTICS (23-23)
Friday, January 21, 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) • TD GARDEN
ALL TIME: Celtics lead, 71-48
PORTLAND HOME: Celtics lead, 33-17
BOSTON HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 38-21
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 129-119, 5/2/21 (Bos.)
LAST BOSTON WIN: 145-117, 12/4/21 (Por.)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: One (Bos.)
• Friday's game is the second and final matchup between Boston and Portland this season.
• LAST MEETING: The Celtics beat the Trail Blazers 145-117 on Dec. 4 at Moda Center. CJ McCollum led the scoring effort for Portland with 24 points (8-21 FG, 3-9 3-PT, 5-7 FT) with six assists and one rebound. Jusuf Nurkić tallied 18 points (6-9 FG, 0-1 3-PT, 6-7 FT) and five rebounds while Cody Zeller contributed 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
• Portland has outscored their opponent in the first quarter in seven of their last nine games, Boston is 8-12 on the year when outscored during the opening quarter.
• In January, the Celtics hold a slight edge in the rebounding category, averaging 43.9 per game to the Trail Blazers 43.8. Portland is more aggressive on the offensive end, averaging 10.8 boards while Boston is averaging 9.5
• Portland ranks third in the NBA in Free Throw Attempts per game (22.5) while Boston ranks 14th (21.2) however the Celtics hold the edge in Free Throw Percentage (81.9% - 2nd) over the Trail Blazers (77.7 - 11th).
• Anfernee Simons continues his breakout January, averaging 26.3 points, 7.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 50.0% from the field, 42.7% from deep and 90.3% at the line in eight games.
• CJ McCollum has averaged 20.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in his last two games since returning from injury. In 15 career games vs Boston, he averages 20.2 points, 3.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds.
• Jusuf Nurkić has recorded three consecutive double-doubles, including a 20-20 performance on Jan. 17, while averaging 16.6 points, 13.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in January.
• Al Horford has averaged 12.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 22 games against the Trail Blazers. In 10 games this month, Horford is averaging 7.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
• Jayson Tatum is averaging 33.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists in his last five games vs. Portland.
NEWS AND NOTES
RESPECT THE HUSTLE: Robert Covington is the only player in the NBA this season with 60-plus steals and 50-plus blocks. He ranks in the Top-25 in both categories, averaging 1.5 steals per game and 1.3 blocks per game. Covington has seven games this season with at least two blocks and two steals, 3rd-most in the league.
NURK 20-20: Jusuf Nurkić turned in a monster performance at Orlando on Jan. 17, registering a double-double in the first half for the second straight game and fifth time this season. He finished the night with 21 points (10-21 FG, 0-3 3-PT, 1-2 FT), 22 rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks. It marked his third career 20-20 game and the ninth such performance in the NBA this season. He is the 11th player in franchise history to record at least four career games with 20-plus rebounds.
ONLY NURK: Jusuf Nurkić recorded 20-plus rebounds and 4-plus steals on Jan. 17 vs. Orlando, making him the only player in the NBA to record that stat line this season. He is also the only player in franchise history to finish a game with 21 points, 22 rebounds and four steals, which he has done twice (1/1/19 at Sac.)
SIMONS CAN'T BE STOPPED: Anfernee Simons knocked down seven three-pointers in the first half at Washington on Jan. 15, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to record five games with seven-plus three-pointers before turning 23. He finished the half with 26 points and six assists, just the fifth player to record that stat line in one half this season. Simons followed it up with 20 points in the first half at Miami on Jan. 19, giving him four 20-plus point halves in his last eight games.
DOUBLE-FIGURE STREAK: Nassir Little and Ben McLemore have each recorded five consecutive games scoring in double figures between Jan. 9 and Jan. 17, for Little it represented a career-long streak.
RED HOT ANT: Anfernee Simons is off to a scorching start to 2022, he has set career-highs in points (43) and assists (11) while turning in 20-plus point performances in five of six games. His 23 point (10-24 FG, 2-11 3-PT, 1-2 FT), 11 assist and six rebound performance against Brooklyn on Jan. 10 marked his first double-double of the season, a repeat performance of 31 points and 11 assists on Jan. 15 marked his second. In 2022, Simons is averaging 26.3 points, 7.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 50.0% from the field, 42.7% from deep and 90.3% at the line.
LAST FIVE GAMES
Game #44 - Miami 104, Portland 92 — January 19, 2022, FTX Arena, Miami, Florida
Portland fell to Miami 104-92 at FTX Arena in Miami ... Anfernee Simons scored 20 1st half points, his fourth 20-point half in the last eight games, en route to 27 points (9-18 FG, 6-14 3-PT, 3-4 FT) with seven assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 38 minutes ... CJ McCollum finished with 24 points (10-20 FG, 4-9 3-PT), four assists, three blocks and two steals in 33 minutes ... Jusuf Nurkić recorded his third consecutive double-double, totaling 18 points (6-10 FG, 6-8 FT) and 14 rebounds with two assists, one steal and one block ... Robert Covington tallied his first double-double of the season with 11 points (3-11 FG, 3-6 3-PT, 2-2 FT), 12 rebounds and one block ... Nassir Little played 12 minutes and grabbed one rebound and blocked a shot before leaving with an injury ... Caleb Martin recored 26 points and eight rebounds off the bench for Miami ... Bam Adebayo contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Game #43 - Portland 98, Orlando 88 — January 17, 2022, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Portland defeated Orlando 98-88 at the Amway Center for their first road winning streak of the season ... Jusuf Nurkić led the Trail Blazers with 21 points (10-21 FG, 0-3 3-PT, 1-2 FT), 22 rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks in 36 minutes ... Nassir Little recorded a double-double with 13 points (4-9 FG, 5-5 FT) and 10 rebounds, his fifth consecutive game scoring in double-figures ... CJ McCollum tallied 16 points (7-13 FG, 2-4 3-PT), two assists, one rebound, one steal and one block in his return from injury ... Anfernee Simons registered his seventh consecutive game scoring in double-figures, finishing with 13 points (4-11 FG, 0-5 3-PT, 5-5 FT), seven assists and two rebounds ... Franz Wagner led the Magic with 14 points (7-18 FG, 0-5 3-PT), five rebounds and two assists ... Moritz Wagner contributed 14 points, four rebounds and two assists off the bench.
Game #42 - Portland 115, Washington 110 — January 15, 2022, Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
Portland earned their third road win of the season with a 115-110 victory at Washington ... Anfernee Simons continued his hot streak, earning his third career double-double with 31 points (11-21 FG, 7-14 3-PT, 2-3 FT) and 11 assists, his seven first half three-pointers made him the sixth player in NBA history to record five games with seven-plus threes before turning 23 ... Jusuf Nurkic tallied his 17th double-double of the season with 23 points and 14 rebounds to go with a pair of assists and a pair of steals ... Robert Covington recorded 15 points (5-13 FG, 2-6 3-PT, 3-4 FT), nine rebounds, four steals and two assists ... Nassir Little finished with 18 points, his fourth consecutive game in double figures ... Ben McLemore scored 10 points in 28 minutes ... Spencer Dinwiddie led the Wizards with 27 points ... Kyle Kuzma dropped a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Game #41 - Denver 140, Portland 108 — January 13, 2022, Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
Portland fell to Denver 140-108 at Ball Arena ... Ben McLemore led the scoring effort for the Trail Blazers with 18 points (6-14 FG, 4-9 3-PT, 2-3 FT), four assists, two steals, one block and one rebound ... Dennis Smith Jr. entered the starting lineup and tallied 17 points (7-12 FG, 0-1 3-PT, 3-5 FT), eight assists, two rebounds and one steal ... Jusuf Nurkic grabbed eight rebounds and knocked down four shots to finish with 10 points ... Trendon Watford had a big night, setting career highs in points (11) and blocked shots (2) ... Robert Covington scored 10 points (4-10 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 0-2 FT) with seven rebounds and four steals ... Portland's five starters have all scored in double figures in back-to-back games ... Will Barton led the Nuggets with 21 points, four rebounds and two assists ... Nikola Jokic tallied 20 points (8-10 FG, 1-2 3-PT, 3-3 FT), eight rebounds and seven assists.
Game #40 - Portland 114, Brooklyn 108 — January 10, 2022, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Portland won both games of a back-to-back with a 114-108 win vs. Brooklyn at Moda Center ... Robert Covington became the first player in franchise history with a single-game performance of five three-pointers, three blocks and three steals, finishing the night with 21 points (6-9 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 4-4 FT) and five rebounds ... Anfernee Simons logged his first double-double of the season with 23 points (10-24 FG, 2-11 3-PT, 1-2 FT), a career-high 11 assists and six rebounds ... Ben McLemore knocked down five three-pointers en route to 20 points (6-11 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 3-4 FT), five rebounds, two blocks and one steal ... The Trail Blazers got off to hot starts in each half, outscoring the Nets 33-26 in the first quarter and 32-19 in the third ... Portland's nine blocked shots tied a season-high ... Kevin Durant led the Nets with 28 points (9-19 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 8-8 FT) and 10 rebounds ... Cam Thomas contributed 21 points off the bench.
For the Trail Blazers, Dennis Smith Jr. (right ankle; sprain) is probable; Nassir Little (right knee; acute patellar tendinopathy/contusion) is questionable; Norman Powell (personal reasons), Damian Lillard (core muscle recovery), Larry Nance Jr. (right knee inflammation), and Cody Zeller (right patellar fracture) are out for Friday’s game at Boston.
For the Celtics, Aaron Nesmith (right ankle; sprain) and Marcus Smart (return to competition reconditioning) are questionable; Bol Bol (trade pending) and P.J. Dozier (trade pending) are out.
Friday’s game can be seen locally on ROOT SPORTS Plus with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam calling the action. ROOT SPORTS Plus is free for all ROOT SPORTS subscribers, varying by provider. Visit trailblazers.com/watch for more information. 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.