Trail Blazers Game Notes: Portland Trail Blazers (19-26) vs. Toronto Raptors (22-21)
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (19-26) AT TORONTO RAPTORS (22-21)
Sunday, January 23, 3:00 p.m. (Pacific) • Scotiabank Arena
ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 32-18
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 17-8
TORONTO HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 15-10
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 118-113, 11/15/21 (Por.)
LAST TORONTO WIN: 114-106, 11/13/19 (Por.)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Four (Por.)
• Friday's game is the second and final matchup between Toronto and Portland this season.
• LAST MEETING: The Trail Blazers beat the Raptors 118-113 at Moda Center behind 54 combined points from CJ McCollum (29 points; 11-18 FG, 6-11 3-PT, 1-2 FT) and Damian Lillard (24 points; 10-21 FG, 3-6 3-PT, 1-1 FT). Jusuf Nurkić grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds while Larry Nance Jr. contributed 15 points off the bench. OG Anunoby led Toronto with 29 points, six rebounds and three steals.
• Both teams rank in the Top-10 in January in trips to the charity stripe, Portland ranks 5th (24.6 FTA) while Toronto ranks 7th (24.2 FTA). The Trail Blazers are shooting 74.2% from the line while the Raptors are shooting 74.4% during that stretch.
• On the defensive end, Portland ranks 7th in the NBA in January in blocks per game (5.1) and steals per game (8.6) while Toronto ranks 4th in steals (9.3) and 13th in blocks (4.7).
• The Trail Blazers have led after the opening quarter in four consecutive games and eight of their last 10. Toronto is 8-11 on the season when outscored in the first quarter.
• Anfernee Simons is averaging 23.0 points, 7.3 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.25 steals during Portland's current road trip.
• CJ McCollum has averaged 18.8 points, 3.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 16 career games vs. Toronto.
• Jusuf Nurkić has faced off against the Raptors 12 times, averaging 9.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists.
• Dennis Smith Jr. set his career high for rebounds (12) against Toronto last season (3/3/21) as a member of the Pistons.
• Fred VanVleet averages 16.4 points, 5.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds against the Trail Blazers in his career, he dropped 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds in the Raptors loss at Moda Center in November.
• In Pascal Siakam's last three games against the Trail Blazers he has averaged 22.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
NEWS AND NOTES
NURK IN THE NEW YEAR: Jusuf Nurkić continued his hot start to 2022 with his fourth consecutive game with 18-plus points and 14-plus rebounds on Jan. 19 at Boston, making him the only player in the NBA with such a streak this season. His final stat line - 29 points, 17 rebounds and six assists marks his sixth career 25/15/5 performance, the most of any Trail Blazer in the last 40 years (LaMarcus Aldridge - 3). His 13.6 rebounds per game in January rank 2nd in the NBA while his 4.0 assists and 17.8 points rank 7th and 9th among centers.
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.
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.
STARTING FIVE: The starting lineup of Nassir Little, Robert Covington, Jusuf Nurkić, Ben McLemore and Anfernee Simons became the first Portland unit this season to all score in double figures on Jan. 10 vs. Brooklyn. The unit repeated the effort on Jan. 15 at Washington.
LAST FIVE GAMES
Game #45 - Portland 109, Boston 105 — January 21, 2022, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Portland took down Boston 109-105 at TD Garden ... Jusuf Nurkić tallied his fourth straight game with 18-plus points and 14-plus rebounds, the only player in the NBA this season with such a streak, and also led the team with six assists ... CJ McCollum knocked down five three-pointers on his way to 24 points (7-19 FG, 5-10 3-PT, 5-7 FT) with five rebounds, four assists and two blocks ... Anfernee Simons dropped 21 points (8-17 FG, 4-8 3-PT, 1-2 FT) with four assists, two rebounds and two steals ... Nassir Little contributed seven points (3-7 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 0-0 FT), eight rebounds and two assists ... Ben McLemore scored 12 points (4-7 FG, 4-7 3-PT) off the bench with three rebounds ... Robert Covington tallied five rebounds, four rebounds and one block ... Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes ... Jaylen Brown added 22 points, five rebounds and five assists.
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 Nurkić 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 Nurkić 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 Jokić tallied 20 points (8-10 FG, 1-2 3-PT, 3-3 FT), eight rebounds and seven assists.
For the Trail Blazers, Dennis Smith Jr. (right ankle; sprain) and Nassir Little (right knee; acute patellar tendinopathy/contusion) are probable; Norman Powell (personal reasons), Damian Lillard (core muscle recovery), Larry Nance Jr. (right knee inflammation) and Cody Zeller (right patellar fracture) are out for Sunday’s game at Toronto.
For the Raptors, Khem Birch (nose; fracture), Goran Dragic (not with team) and David Johnson (health and safety protocols) are out.
Sunday’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.