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Opening Homestand Ends With Visit From Raptors

by Cody Sharrett

A four-game homestand comes to an end Monday night when the Portland Trail Blazers (4-2) welcome the Toronto Raptors (3-2) to Moda Center. The two sides met in the preseason as the Trail Blazers claimed a 106-101 victory behind Damian Lillard's 16 points. Toronto was won the last four regular season meetings against Portland with the Blazers most recent win over the Raptors coming in March 2015. 

  • WATCH: NBC Sports Northwest
  • LISTEN: Rip City Radio 620

Through six games in the 2017-18 season, CJ McCollum leads Portland with 24.6 points per game on 50.6% shooting from the field and a 56.5% clip from three-point range. Damian Lillard enters Monday matchup averaging 22.3 points per game. While the Blazer offense has yet to hit its stride, the team has played improved defense to start the season, holding opponents to 98 points per 100 possessions. 

"The bright side of [Portland's shooting struggles] is the fact that we have to find ways to win games and not begin on offense whereas in the past that’s kind of been what we leaned on, just have an explosion on offense," Lilalrd said following the team's 114-107 win over Phoenix on Saturday. "We haven’t had that yet but we’ve managed to win some games so we just got to keep fighting, keep grinding until it comes around.”

The Raptors visit Portland for the fourth stop on a six-game road trip. Toronto beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 101-92, on Friday after falling to San Antonio and Golden State to begin the trip. DeMar DeRozan's 23.4 points per game leads the Raptors, while forward Serge Ibaka is averaging 15 points and five rebounds on a nightly basis. 

Tipoff from Moda Center is scheduled for 7 pm Monday night with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam providing coverage on NBC Sports Northwest. Scott Lynn and Michael Holton have the call on Rip City Radio 620.