Trail Blazers Game Notes: Portland Trail Blazers (5-7) vs.Houston Rockets (1-10)

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (5-7) AT HOUSTON ROCKETS (1-10)

Friday, November 12, 5:00 p.m. (Pacific) • Toyota Center

Houston, Texas

SERIES HISTORY

ALL TIME: Rockets lead, 112-91

PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 56-45

HOUSTON HOME: Rockets lead, 65-35

LAST PORTLAND WIN: 140-129, 5/10/21 (Por.)

LAST HOUSTON WIN: 104-101, 1/28/21 (Hou.)

CURRENT WIN STREAK: One (Por.)

SERIES NOTES

• Friday's game is the first of four matchups between the Trail Blazers and the Rockets during the 2021-22 season.

LAST SEASON: Portland won the season series against Houston in 2020-21, 2-1.

• In two games against the Rockets last season, CJ McCollum averaged 36.0 points (53.2% FG, 57.7% 3-PT, 70.0% FT), 3.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.00 steal. He scored 44 points (17-30 FG, 9-16 3-PT, 1-2 FT) to go with eight assists against Houston on Dec. 26, 2020. McCollum has had eight straight games with at least 20 points against the Rockets.

• Damian Lillard averaged 32.0 points (46.5% FG, 45.7% 3-PT, 93.3% FT), 6.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists in three games against Houston in 2020-21. Lillard has scored 30-plus points and made at least five three-pointers in four of his last five games against the Rockets.

• In two games against Houston in 2020-21, Jusuf Nurkic averaged 17.0 points (60.0% FG, 50.0% FT), 8.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.50 steals and 2.00 blocks.

• Christian Wood played in two games against the Trail Blazers last season, posting averages of 26.5 points (64.7% FG, 16.7% 3-PT, 80.0% FT), 12.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.00 blocks.

CONNECTION: Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington played seven games for the Rockets in 2013-14 and 21 games (all starts) for Houston in 2019-20.

CONNECTION: Portland guard Ben McLemore played 103 games (27 starts) for Houston from 2019-21, averaging 9.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.8 assists.

CONNECTION: Trail Blazers assistant coach Scott Brooks won an NBA championship with the Rockets as a player in 1994. He played two-plus seasons in Houston from 1992-95.

CONNECTION: Portland assistant coaches Roy Rogers (2016-19) and Matt Brase (2018-20) have both been assistant coaches in Houston.

NEWS AND NOTES

LEADING THE WAY: The Trail Blazers hired Chauncey Billups as the 15th head coach in franchise history on June 27, 2021. Billups is making his debut as a head coach in the 2021-22 season. He spent the 2020-21 season as an assistant coach for the LA Clippers, helping lead the team to a 47-25 record and a trip to the Western Conference Finals.

DAME DROPPING 20: Damian Lillard scored a season-high 28 points (12-23 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 3-4 FT) to go with seven rebounds and seven assists at Phoenix on Nov. 10. His eight games of 20-plus points this season are tied for the 12th-most in the NBA.

STORMIN' NORMAN: Norman Powell scored 23 points (8-17 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 4-5 FT) to go with three rebounds and one assist at Phoenix on Nov. 10. It was the fifth time in the last six games that he scored 20-plus points. For the season, Powell is shooting 51.2% from the field, 47.2% from the three-point-line, and 82.1% from the free-throw stripe.

17,000 POINTS: With his 25th point against the Lakers on Nov. 6, Damian Lillard reached 17,000 points for his career. Playing in his 692nd game, Lillard was the 17th-fastest player in NBA history to reach that total.

NURK'S NIGHT: Jusuf Nurkic recorded 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field (3-5 FT) to go with 17 rebounds, one assist, three steals and one block against the Lakers on Nov. 6. He is the second player in team history to record at least 15 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 100% from the field (Calvin Natt, 3/18/82 vs. Golden State).

ROCO'S RUN: Robert Covington had a season-high 19 points (7-12 FG, 5-10 3-PT) to go with five rebounds and one steal against Indiana on Nov. 5. Nine of his points came in the fourth quarter on perfect 3-of-3 shooting from the three-point-line. All three tiples came in the final four minutes of the game.

3J McCOLLUM: CJ McCollum is fourth in the NBA in three-pointers made (40) and sixth in three-pointers attempted (105). He has made at least four shots from deep in seven out of 12 games so far this season.

BENCH BUCKETS: Anfernee Simons led Portland's bench with 16 points (6-10 FG, 4-6 3-PT) against the Pacers on Nov. 5, marking his fourth straight game scoring 15-plus points. Simons is seventh in the NBA in total bench points this season (147) and is seventh in three-pointers made off the bench (26).

BEAST ON THE BOARDS: Jusuf Nurkic matched his season high with 17 rebounds against the Lakers on Nov. 6. He has led the Trail Blazers in rebounds in 11 games so far this season. Nurkic ranks seventh in the NBA in rebounds (11.5).

DAME DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Damian Lillard recorded his fourth double-double of the season at Philadelphia on Nov. 1, finishing with 20 points and 10 assists in 36 minutes. Lillard ranks fifth in the league in assists per game (8.2).

THE LITTLE THINGS: Nassir Little has corralled 20 offensive rebounds this season, which is the third-most in the NBA for players 6'7" or shorter. His 18 offensive boards off the bench are the fifth-most by any reserve in the NBA this season. Cody Zeller ranks second in the NBA in offensive rebounds off the bench with 27.

A BLOCK AND A STEAL: CJ McCollum recorded at least one block and one steal in each of the first five games this season. He is the first player in franchise history to have a steal and a block in each of Portland's first five games of a season.

TOP 100 SCORER: With his 13th point against the Kings on Oct. 20, Damian Lillard moved past Elton Brand into the top 100 on the NBA all-time scoring list.

CJ SCORING: CJ McCollum scored the 10,000th point of his career on Oct. 20 against the Kings. He is the eighth player in team history with 10,000 points. With his 15th point against the Grizzlies on OCt. 27, McCollum passed Jerome Kersey for sixth on the Trail Blazers all-time scoring list.

5. Cliff Robinson - 10,405 points

6. CJ McCollum - 10,223 points

7. Jerome Kersey - 10,067 points

NBA 75th ANNIVERSARY TEAM: Damian Lillard was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team on Oct. 21. He joins former Trail Blazers Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippen, Carmelo Anthony, and Lenny Wilkens on the list.

NEW IN TOWN: During the 2021 offseason, the Trail Blazers added Tony Snell, Dennis Smith Jr., Ben McLemore, Trendon Watford and Cody Zeller via free agency, Larry Nance Jr. via trade and Greg Brown III via the 2021 NBA draft. McLemore (53.0%), Snell (54.4%) and Zeller (58.5%) have all started over half of their career games since being drafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, while Nance has started 123 of his 350 career games (35.1%).

LAST FIVE GAMES

Game #12 - Phoenix 119, Portland 109 — November 10, 2021, Footprint Center, Phoenix Arizona

Portland dropped its second game in as many nights, falling to the Suns in Phoenix, 119-109 ... Damian Lillard scored a season-high 28 points (12-23 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 3-4 FT) to go with seven rebounds and seven assists to lead the Trail Blazers ... Norman Powell added 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting (3-8 3-PT, 4-5 FT) to go with three rebounds and one assist ... CJ McCollum had 18 points (7-16 FG, 1-7 3-PT, 3-3 FT), four rebounds and seven assists ... Larry Nance Jr. led the Portland bench with 13 points (6-7 FG, 1-2 3-PT), five rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes ... It was Nance's first game scoring in double figures this season ... Nassir Little chipped in eight points and seven rebounds ... Frank Kaminsky led the Suns with a career-high 31 points (12-18 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 5-5 FT) to go with seven rebounds, three assists and one block ... Chris Paul had 21 points and seven assists.

Game #11 - LA Clippers 117, Portland 109 — November 9, 2021, STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California

The Trail Blazers were defeated by the Clippers at STAPLES Center, 117-109, falling to 0-5 on the road to start the season ... The Clippers shot 53.3% from the three-point line (16-of-30) ... Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 27 points (11-23 FG, 4-13 3-PT, 1-1 FT) to go with five rebounds and six assists in 39 minutes ... Norman Powell added 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting (5-6 3-PT, 2-4 FT) while adding three rebounds, three assists and one steal ... Jusuf Nurkic had 15 points (6-9 FG, 1-1 3-PT, 2-2 FT), 13 rebounds, six assists and one steal ... CJ McCollum was held to 13 points (6-15 FG, 0-2 3-PT, 1-2 FT), three rebounds and three assists ... Cody Zeller chipped in eight points and eight rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench ... Paul George led the Clippers with 24 points (10-24 FG, 3-7 3-PT, 1-2 FT), nine rebounds, seven assists and one steal ... Reggie Jackson added 23 points and six assists.

Game #10 - Portland 105, L.A. Lakers 90 — November 6, 2021, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

The Trail Blazers dominated the Lakers in the first and third quarters, helping to secure a 105-90 victory at Moda Center ... It was Portland's second straight win and their fifth straight victory at home ... Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 25 points (9-19 FG, 6-14 3-PT, 1-2 FT) to go with three rebounds, six assists and two steals ... Lillard's final points gave him 17,000 points for his career ... Jusuf Nurkic had a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds on 6-of-6 shooting (3-5 FT) ... It was the second time in team history that a player had at least 15 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 100% from the field ... Norman Powell added 13 points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks ... Robert Covington had 12 points (4-8 FG, 4-7 3-PT, four rebounds, two steals and a block ... Malik Monk led the Lakers with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Game #9 - Portland 110, Indiana 106 — November 5, 2021, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

The Trail Blazers snapped a three-game losing streak and earned their fourth straight home with a 110-106 victory over Indiana at Moda Center ... CJ McCollum led the way for Portland, finishing with 27 points (11-19 FG, 5-9 3-PT) to go with five rebounds and six assists ... Norman Powell had 25 points (8-14 FG, 3-4 3-PT, 6-6 FT), two rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block ... Robert Covington had a season-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting (5-10 3-PT) to go with five rebounds and one steal ... Anfernee Simons led the Portland bench with 16 points (6-10 FG, 4-6 3-PT), one rebound, one assist and one block ... Damian Lillard had four points and 11 assists ... Lillard's four points matched his career low for scoring ... T.J. McConnell led the Pacers with 19 points (8-13 FG, 3-4 3-PT), seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block ... Domantas Sabonis added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Game #8 - Cleveland 107, Portland 104 — November 3, 2021, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio

The Trail Blazers lost a close game to the Cavaliers in Cleveland, 107-104, marking their third straight loss ... Damian Lillard missed a three-pointer in the final seconds of the fourth quarter that would have forced overtime ... Lillard finished with a team-high 26 points (10-27 FG, 3-12 3-PT, 3-5 FT) to go with three rebounds, eight assists and two steals ... Norman Powell added 23 points (9-16 FG, 3-6 3-PT, 2-3 FT), three rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks in 32 minutes ... CJ McCollum had 21 points (7-19 FG, 4-9 3-PT, 3-4 FT), seven rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block ... Anfernee Simons scored 15 points off the bench on 6-of-11 shooting (1-4 3-PT, 2-2 FT) ... Cody Zeller added seven points and five rebounds ... The Cavaliers were led by Jarrett Allen, who recorded 24 points (9-15 FG, 6-9 FT), 17 rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block.

INJURY NOTES

For the Trail Blazers, Norman Powell (left quad strain) is questionable

As for the Rockets, Kevin Porter Jr. (left thigh; contusion) is probable; Garrison Matthews (G League - two-way) and Daishen Nix (G League - two-way) are out.

BROADCAST NOTES

Friday’s game can be seen locally on ROOT Sports with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam calling the action. 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.

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