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Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Clippers Preview

Portland travels to sunny southern California looking for another win.

NBA: NOV 07 Trail Blazers at Clippers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers (8-12) at Los Angeles Clippers (15-6)

December 3, 2019 - 7:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out), Gary Trent Jr. (out)
Clippers injuries: Rodney McGruder (out)
How to watch on TV: TNT
How to stream: Blazer’s Edge Streaming Guide
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Clips Nation

The Portland Trail Blazers travel to take on the Clippers after a home victory over the Chicago Bulls 107-103. Carmelo Anthony managed a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Hassan Whiteside had a franchise-record 10 blocks alongside 15 rebounds and eight points. Damian Lillard scored 28 points, contributing 10 in the fourth quarter to lift the Blazers over the Bulls. A team effort will be needed for the Blazers to stand a chance against the Clippers.

The Los Angeles Clippers face Portland following a win over the Washington Wizards 150-125. Kawhi Leonard had 34 points while Paul George contributed 31, and Montrezl Harrell marked a career-high 15 rebounds alongside 23 points. The victory against the Wizards put the Clippers at 12-1 at home over the season, meaning they are a formidable opponent on their home court.

What to watch for

  • Blazers Legend Carmelo Anthony. Anthony, freshly named the Western Conference Player of the Week, has made a mark in his first few games with the Trail Blazers. Recent games have displayed some particularly great performances, and Rip City has to hope he can maintain that level of play, as it has helped to lift the Blazers out of the rut they were in.
  • Turnovers. Whoever can manage to keep their turnovers low will win this game. The Clippers have demonstrated the ability to exploit opponents who turn the ball over (see Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks). If the Blazers can play a clean game and keep the ball in their possession while not giving the Clippers any extra opportunities to score, it will go a long way towards a win.
  • Perimeter defense. The Clippers have length in a way that Portland does not. The Blazers need to be on their guard out on the three-point line. They can expect to be pressured by Kawhi Leonard as well as former Blazer Maurice Harkless, and Portland would be wise to be wary of what the Clippers can do outside.

What they’re saying

Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN digs into the progress that the new-look Clippers have made in getting to know each other:

”I [still] think it’s going to take time, just learning each other, playing in these games,” Leonard said of the Clippers’ having plenty of room to get better. “We’re still up-and-down, sometimes our offense is stagnant ... or doing early quick shots without moving the ball.

”But we can be special.”

At the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Greif examines how Ivica Zubac has grown as part of the Clippers:

Still, as the 7-foot center was beginning his career primarily in the NBA’s developmental league, he told Lakers teammate Lou Williams, an NBA veteran for more than a decade, that he didn’t understand what opponents were saying to him. Talking trash was an idiom he couldn’t quite crack.

“[Lou] was like, ‘Just tell them shut the hell up and keep playing and get a bucket on them,’” Zubac recalled.

Bonus: On the Blazer’s Edge Podcast, Tara Bowen-Biggs (aka Team Mom) spoke with Sabreena Merchant of and SB Nation about the Clippers and the Lakers in advance of this week’s games: