Western Conference Showdown Friday Night Versus Pelicans

by Casey Holdahl
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After four straight home games against teams from the Eastern Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers (27-19) get back to the Western Conference by hosting the New Orleans Pelicans (21-24) Friday night at the Moda Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

SERIES NOTES

ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 31-25
IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 20-8
AT THE PELICANS: Pelicans lead, 17-11
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 132-119, 11/1/19 (Portland)
LAST PELICANS WIN: 107-103, 3/27/18 (NOP)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Two (Portland)

GAME NOTES

• Friday’s game marks the second of three meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Pelicans during the 2018-19 season. Portland leads the season series, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: The Trail Blazers outscored the Pelicans 30-20 in the fourth quarter of a 132-119 Portland victory at Moda Center on Nov. 1. Damian Lillard led the way for Portland with 26 points (7-16 FG, 4-7 3-PT, 8-8 FT), seven rebounds and six assists while Julius Randle came off the bench to score 29 points (9-16 FG, 11-12 FT) for the Pelicans.

HOME COOKING: The Trail Blazers have won 13 of the last 15 regular season games between Portland and New Orleans at Moda Center.

• Damian Lillard has scored at least 25 points in 11 of his 21 career games against the Pelicans, including eight of the last 10. In his last four games against New Orleans, Lillard has averaged 29.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.25 steals.

• Jusuf Nurkic recorded 20 points (7-9 FG, 1-1 3-PT, 5-6 FT), nine rebounds and two assists against New Orleans on Nov. 1. Nurkic has scored at least 19 points in each of his last three games against the Pelicans and has shot 24-of-32 (75.0%) from the field in that span.

• Evan Turner recorded 14 points (5-11 FG, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds, seven assists and one steal in 27 minutes off the bench against the Pelicans on Nov. 1.

• Anthony Davis missed the meeting between the Trail Blazers and the Pelicans on Nov. 1 with a right elbow strain. Davis has scored at least 30 points in four of his last six games against Portland.

• Nikola Mirotic had 18 points (6-20 FG, 1-6 3-PT, 5-6 FT), 13 rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks at Portland on November 1. Mirotic has scored 18 points in three of his last four games against the Trail Blazers.

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

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

INJURY NOTES

Maurice Harkless (left knee) and Caleb Swanigan (right knee) are questionable while Wade Baldwin (G League) is out for Friday's game.

As for the Pelicans, Trevon Bluiett (G League) is out.

BROADCAST NOTES

Friday's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. NBC Sports Northwest also streams 76 live games during the 2018-19 Trail Blazers season. NBA League Pass will also carry the game, though blackouts based on location apply.

Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.

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