Trail Blazers Game Notes: Portland Trail Blazers (27-52) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (35-44)
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (27-52) AT NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (35-44)
Thursday, April 7 • 5:00 p.m. (Pacific) • Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, Louisiana
ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead 36-31
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 23-11
NEW ORLEANS HOME: Pelicans lead, 20-13
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 101-93, 3/18/21 (NOP)
LAST NEW ORLEANS WIN: 117-107, 3/30/22 (Por.)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Two (NOP)
• Thursday's game marks the final of three games between Portland and New Orleans this season, the Pelicans hold a 2-0 lead in the season series.
• LAST MEETING: Portland lost to New Orleans last week in the emotional return of CJ McCollum to Moda Center, 117-107. Drew Eubanks led the Trail Blazers with 21 points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block while Ben McLemore added 16 points off the bench. CJ McCollum led the Pelicans in his first game back in Portland since being traded at the trade deadline, finishing with 25 points, four assists and three rebounds.
• Portland averages 7.9 steals per game, eighth best in the league, while New Orleans ranks just ahead of them at seventh with 8.2.
• Both teams rank in the Top 10 in offensive rebounding, the Pelicans average 11.8 offensive boards per game, fourth-most in the NBA, while the Trail Blazers average 10.6, 10th-most.
• New Orleans averages 14.8 second chance points per game, third-most in the NBA, while Portland holds opponents to 12.5 second chance points per game, the fifth best mark in the league.
• Kris Dunn has averaged 9.6 points, 5.4 assists and 3.6 rebounds in his last five games against New Orleans, scoring in double-figures in two games.
• In his last five games against the Pelicans, Drew Eubanks has averaged 9.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.00 blocks and 0.80 steals in 17.4 minutes.
• Ben McLemore has averaged just 10.1 minutes of action in his last five games against the Pelicans but has averaged 5.0 points, 0.6 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 0.40 steals.
• In his last five games against Portland, Brandon Ingram has averaged 22.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists, scoring in double-figures in all five games and recording 20-plus points twice.
• Jonas Valanciunas has recorded a double-double in four of his last five games against the Trail Blazers, averaging 18.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists in those five games.
NEWS AND NOTES
BOUNCING BROWN: Greg Brown III set a career-high with 17 points and six FGM on April 5 at OKC. The rookie out of Texas set a career-high with four three-pointers on April 3 at San Antonio. Over his last 10 games, he is averaging 8.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.80 steals.
KEON JOHNSON CAREER HIGH: Keon Johnson recorded the first 20-point game of his career at San Antonio on April 1, shooting 8-of-15 from the field (4-6 3-PT) while adding three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 25 minutes. Johnson has started seven consecutive games for Portland, dating back to March 25, scoring in double-figures in six of those games while averaging 15.0 points on 45.6% shooting (43.9% 3-PT), 3.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.14 steals and 0.90 blocks.
DIDI RETURNS: Didi Louzada returned from injury and made his Trail Blazers debut on March 30 vs. his former team, New Orleans, scoring five points, grabbing two rebounds and recording his first career block, in 11 minutes of action.
MONEY IN THE BANK: Drew Eubanks scored 10+ points on 50% or better shooting in 11 straight games from March 14-30. The longest streak in Trail Blazers history belongs to Rasheed Wallace at 14 games. Eubanks has scored in double figures in 14 straight games, marking the longest streak of his career.
STEALING THEIR THUNDER: Portland recorded 17 steals vs. Oklahoma City in an OT loss on March 28, a season-high for the Trail Blazers and the most in a single-game for the franchise since December 9, 2000 vs. Detroit.
LAST FIVE GAMES
Game #79 - Oklahoma City 98, Portland 94 — April 5, 2022, Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Portland fell to Oklahoma City 98-94 after a rough fourth quarter saw them outscored 31-12 ... Keon Johnson led the scoring effort for the Trail Blazers, finishing with 18 points (7-14 FG, 3-7 3-PT, 1-2 FT), six rebounds, a career-high seven assists, two blocks and one steal ... Greg Brown III set a career-high with 17 points (6-9 FG, 1-1 3-PT, 4-4 FT), three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block ... Drew Eubanks tallied 14 points (6-8 FG, 2-2 FT), four boards, two steals and two blocks in 35 minutes ... Kris Dunn scored seven points and led Portland with eight rebounds and eight assists, plus one steal ... Ben McLemore added 17 points (6-16 FG, 3-11 3-PT, 2-2 FT), two rebounds, two steals and one assist ... CJ Elleby contributed six points, five rebounds, two assists and a block ... Jaylen Hoard led the Thunder with 24 points, 21 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Game #78 - San Antonio 113, Portland 92 — April 3, 2022, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Portland dropped the second of two weekend games in San Antonio, 113-92 ... Keon Johnson led the Trail Blazers starting unit with 19 points (8-15 FG, 3-7 3-PT), three rebounds, two assists and one block ... Drew Eubanks tallied a double-double with 13 points (5-11 FG, 1-2 3-PT, 2-4 FT), 13 rebounds, one assist and one steal ... Greg Brown III scored 14 points (4-8 FG, 4-5 3-PT, 2-2 FT) with two boards, one assist and one steal ... Ben McLemore added 19 points (6-14 FG, 4-11 3-PT, 3-3 FT), one rebound, three assists and one steal in 25 minutes off the bench ... CJ Elleby added eight points (3-6 FG, 2-4 3-PT, 0-2 FT), four boards, one assist and one block ... Brandon Williams dished seven assists and scored five points (2-9 FG, 1-5 3-PT) with three rebounds, one steal and one block ... Keldon Johnson led the Spurs with 28 points, two boards, two assists and one block.
Game #77 - San Antonio 130, Portland 111 — April 1, 2022, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
The Trail Blazers fell to the Spurs in the first of consecutive games at AT&T Center, 130-111 ... Eight players scored in double figures for the Trail Blazers, led by Keon Johnson with a season-high 20 points (8-15 FG, 4-6 3-PT), three rebounds, three assists and one steal ... Brandon Williams added 17 points (4-10 FG, 3-4 3-PT, 6-7 FT), four rebounds, three assists and one steal ... Greg Brown III started his second straight game, totaling 13 points, nine rebounds, one assist and two steals ... Drew Eubanks scored in double figures for the 12th straight contest, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal ... The Spurs assisted on 34 of their 46 field goals ... Devin Vassell led eight Spurs players in double figures, finishing with 22 points, four rebounds and three assists ... Zach Collins had 15 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks off the bench.
Game #76 - New Orleans 117, Portland 107 — March 30, 2022, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Portland fell to New Orleans 117-107 in an emotional night with the return of CJ McCollum to Moda Center ... Drew Eubanks led the Trail Blazers with 21 points (10-12 FG, 1-2 3-PT), nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block ... Brandon Williams dropped a double-double for the second consecutive game, scoring 10 points (4-10 FG, 2-6 3-PT) and dishing 10 assists ... Ben McLemore dropped 16 points (5-12 FG, 3-10 3-PT, 3-3 FT) off the bench ... Reggie Perry appeared in his first game since signing back with Portland, scoring a career-high 15 points and grabbing six boards ... Didi Louzada returned from injury and scored five points with two rebounds ... Greg Brown III made his first career start and scored nine points with three rebounds, three assists and a block ... CJ McCollum led New Orleans with 25 points (9-16 FG, 3-6 3-PT, 4-8 FT), three rebounds and four assists.
Game #75 - Oklahoma City 134, Portland 131 — March 28, 2022, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Portland lost to Oklahoma City 134-131 in overtime despite holding a lead after halftime and the third quarter ... Drew Eubanks scored a career-high 27 points and recorded his second straight double-double, grabbing 14 rebounds with three assists, three steals and two blocks ... Brandon Williams recorded his first career double-double, scoring 25 points (8-20 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 4-6 FT) with a career-high 12 assists, plus four rebounds and four steals ... Ben McLemore continued his hot streak, scoring 28 points (10-22 FG, 8-18 3-PT) off the bench with two rebounds ... Keon Johnson scored a career-high 17 points with five rebounds, four steals and two assists ... Kris Dunn and Keljin Blevins both scored 10 points off the bench ... Isaiah Roby led the Thunder with 30 points, eight boards and four assists while Aaron Wiggins scored 28 points with five rebounds and six assists.
For the Trail Blazers, Brandon Williams (left quad; contusion) is questionable; Eric Bledsoe (left Achilles; tendinopathy), Josh Hart (left knee; patellar tendinopathy), Joe Ingles (left knee recovery), Damian Lillard (core muscle recovery), Nassir Little (left shoulder recovery), Jusuf Nurkic (left foot; plantar fasciitis), Anfernee Simons (left knee; patellar tendinopathy), Trendon Watford (left knee; bone contusion) and Justise Winslow (left calf inflammation) are out for Thursday’s game at New Orleans.
For the Pelicans, Jonas Valanciunas (right ankle; soreness) is questionable; Jared Harper (G League - two-way), Kira Lewis Jr. (right knee ACL/MCL; sprain) and Zion Williamson (right foot; fracture) are out.
Thursday’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.