In a classic “we won, let’s move on” game, the short-handed Blazers beat the Hawks 120-111 at the Moda Center Saturday night. How short-handed were the Blazers? Settle in.
- No Damian Lillard. Lillard sat out tonight’s game, the sole contest in a 6-day period. While officially termed as “rest”, Coach Terry Stotts said that Lillard had been hurting for a bit, and almost missed the game in Phoenix.
- And Then Evan Turner. Turner did not return after the first half, with the team listing “Achilles soreness”. With the Blazers previously losing one of their best wings due to an Achilles rupture, this felt like a very reasonable precaution.
- And Then Nik Stauskas. Stauskas re-entered the rotation tonight, likely due to Lillard’s absence, but was also shut down at halftime due to knee soreness. But hey, back to basketball and—
- ... And Then Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic took a shot to the face on a drive in the third quarter, and was promptly taken to the locker room. The good news? He came back in with 7 minutes left in the fourth.
- Also, the Blazers won. Even with all those personnel events, the Atlanta Hawks are simply a bad team; the Blazers took care of business against them. Every Blazers starter scored in double figures, and all’s well that ends well.
- Oh, and CJ McCollum got a triple-double. With the game essentially over, McCollum was close to a triple double, so the team set him up to drive-and-kick on each possession. It eventually paid off when Moe Harkless scored off a McCollum pass on a broken play.
Four days off for the Blazers! And they need them. Then a rematch with the Jazz, after a chippy game last week.