On Sunday, April 17th, the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers tipped off in Game 1 of their 2016 NBA Western Conference Playoff series. The Blazers and Clippers played a number of close games this season, and had one fairly infamous incident along the way.
Ten days later, the Clippers returned the favor, beating Portland 102-87. In a late-game tactical move, Terry Stotts instructed the Blazers to start fouling DeAndre Jordan, but the deficit was just too big. Lillard struggled through the game while reportedly battling the flu.
On January 6th, Los Angeles beat Portland 109-98. This is the infamous Clerical Error Game, where the Blazers inadvertently chose to activate Luis Montero instead of CJ McCollum. There were varying reports about whether the Clippers could have allowed an override of that decision, but one did not happen, and Doc Rivers (still unhappy about Stotts fouling Jordan in the previous game) shared a smirk and a glance at McCollum after the game.
On March 24th, JJ Redick hit a buzzer-beating jumper to pull Los Angeles to a 96-94 victory over Portland. The Blazers, who battled hard all night, clearly saw this as the game-that-got-away afterward. In a common theme with Clipper games, the referees were a subject of some consternation afterward.
The Blazers will come into this series as heavy underdogs, but most analysts feel they have the best chances of an upset in the West.
How To Watch Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers:
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Time: 7:30 pm, PDT
TV: TNT | KGW (in Portland)
Online Streaming: TNT Online (and various related apps)
Radio: Rip City Radio, 620 am