Portland Trail Blazers (32-24) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (40-19)
The out-of-sorts Portland Trail Blazers fly home with their tails between their legs following an embarrassing loss to the Charlotte Hornets. Unfortunately, there’s no respite, with the Blazers returning to the Moda Center to face the in-form Los Angeles Clippers. Both Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic are out.
Tuesday, April 20 - 7:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: TNT, NBCSNW, NBA League Pass or see games all season on fuboTV
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out), Damian Lillard (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out)
Clippers injuries: Serge Ibaka (out), Patrick Beverley (out), Jay Scrubb (out)
SBN Affiliate: Clips Nation
What To Watch For
- Strong start. This section could include 10-12 items. Let’s still try and keep it to three. The Blazers gave up 44 points to the undermanned Hornets during Sunday’s opening stanza. Portland then outscored the Hornets 77 to 65 over the final three quarters, falling considerably short by the final buzzer. We’ve seen the Blazers make some pretty impressive comebacks this season but doing it every night is just not sustainable.
- McCollum. With Lillard out, CJ needs to take control on the offensive side of the ball — he also needs to be efficient. On Sunday, McCollum took 22 shots for 22 points, shooting 36 percent from the field, 25 percent from three and 57 percent from the free throw line in 40 minutes. Any team relying on these numbers from their main offensive threat isn’t going very far.
- Powell. While his shooting was slightly off against the Hornets, Powell has become a mini revelation since arriving from Toronto. His ability to get to the rim and finish in transition have been extremely pleasant surprises. While he might be more suited to the shooting guard position, he’s also been able to perform at small forward alongside Lillard and McCollum — when the former has been fit.
What Others Are Saying
The Clipper shave signed veteran big man DeMarcus Cousins to a second 10-day contract, writes Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times.
A second contract had been expected, after his first expired Wednesday, following a comeback victory in Detroit in which Cousins scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench. After the win, which was the Clippers’ seventh in a row, coach Tyronn Lue said the Clippers were looking forward to Cousins remaining with the team.
“He was big for us,” Lue said. “The toughest thing is late in the game, it’s hard for us to run plays because he really hasn’t caught up yet as far as the plays because we haven’t had a lot of practice time. So that kind of stumped us a little bit. But his playing, just knowing the game and IQ, to be able to shoot it, to post up … and bring physicality is great for our team.
On Sunday evening, Kawhi Leonard returned to the lineup for the Los Angeles Clippers and played 23 minutes but nearly put up a triple-double. Leonard had missed the last four games, and on the night, put up a stat line of 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
The 29-year-old All-Star is averaging 26.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game on the season. He has played in 46 of the team’s 59 games this season.