Trail Blazers Return Home To Host Pelicans

by Casey Holdahl
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In their first game at home after a four-game road trip, the Portland Trail Blazers (5-2) host the New Orleans Pelicans (4-3) in a nationally-televised tilt at the Moda Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Thursday night's game is the first time these two teams have met since the Pelicans swept the Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

SERIES NOTES

ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 30-25

IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 19-8

AT THE PELICANS: Pelicans lead, 17-11

LAST PORTLAND WIN: 107-103, 3/27/18 (New Orleans)
LAST PELICANS WIN: 119-113, 1/12/18 (New Orleans)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: One (Portland)

GAME NOTES

• Thursday’s game marks the first of three meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Pelicans during the 2018-19 season. The teams split the season series in 2017-18, 2-2.

LAST MEETING: The Trail Blazers outscored the Pelicans by eight points in the fourth quarter to secure a 107-103 victory in New Orleans on March 27. Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 41 points (18-33 FG, 3-9 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with nine rebounds, six assists and four steals while Anthony Davis paced the Pelicans with 36 points (15-24 FG, 5-5 FT), 14 rebounds, four assists and six blocks.

RECENT HISTORY: The Trail Blazers have won 12 of their last 14 home games against New Orleans.

KEY STATISTIC: The Pelicans rank second in the league in points per game (122.5) while the Trail Blazers are sixth (117.0).

• In four games against New Orleans last season, Damian Lillard averaged 26.5 points (42.7% FG, 25.6% 3-PT, 77.8% FT), 5.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists. Lillard has scored at least 25 points in seven of his last nine games against the Pelicans.

• CJ McCollum averaged 17.5 points (35.1% FG, 37.0% 3-PT, 85.6% FT), 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in four games against New Orleans in 2017-18. McCollum has made at least three three-pointers in seven of his 15 career games against New Orleans.

• In four games against New Orleans last season, Jusuf Nurkic averaged 15.0 points (58.5% FG, 80.0% FT), 6.5 rebounds and 1.33 blocks. Nurkic had 21 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks against the Pelicans on March 27.

• Anthony Davis averaged 24.7 points (65.3% FG, 100% FT), 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.00 blocks in three games against Portland last season. Davis scored 36 points in each of his last two games against the Trail Blazers, shooting a combined 31-of-47 in those con- tests (66.0%).

• Jrue Holiday averaged 19.3 points (50.0% FG, 25.0% 3-PT, 100% FT), 6.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.25 steals in four games against the Trail Blazers during the 2017-18 season. Holiday had a triple-double of 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against Portland on March 27.

CONNECTION: Maurice Harkless and New Orleans guard Elfrid Payton were teammates with the Orlando Magic during the 2014-15 season.

CONNECTION: Evan Turner and New Orleans guard Jrue Holiday were teammates with the Philadelphia 76ers from 2010-13.

INJURY NOTES

Maurice Harkless will sit out Thursday night's game with left knee soreness. The 6-9 forward has missed the last two games due to the injury, which also kept him sidelined for the entirety of Portland's 2018 preseason.

As for New Orleans, both Elfrid Payton (ankle) and Darius Miller (quadriceps) are listed as day-to-day. Neither played in the Pelicans' loss to the Warriors in Oakland Wednesday night.

BROADCAST NOTES

Thursday night's game can be seen nationally on TNT with Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Ros Gold-Onwude calling the action. Travis Demers, filling in for Brian Wheeler, and Michael Holton will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.