National Basketball Association
Portland at New Orleans
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 20, 2014
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Can Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers possibly have anything left Saturday when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans? Lillard scored 24 of his career-high 43 points after the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter as the Trail Blazers overcame six-point deficits in the each of the first two overtimes Friday at San Antonio. The Pelicans, who have won five of their last seven games, are in the midst of a tough stretch that could decide if they are contenders or pretenders.
Lillard, who scored 11 points in the third extra session in the 129-119 triumph against San Antonio, is averaging 28.7 points with 18 3-pointers in his last six games. "He's a tough competitor. What he did in the third overtime, he just carried us," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "Whether the shots are going or not, he's an extreme competitor and he showed that tonight." New Orleans has a star of its own, as Anthony Davis is on pace to be the first player since the Suns' Amar'e Stoudemire in 2007-08 to average better than 24 points and shoot 58 percent from the field.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, CSN Northwest (Portland)
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (21-6): Portland, which has won four straight games, is in the midst of a tough stretch of its own, going 6-2 this far during a string of nine of 11 games on the road. LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and season highs of 16 rebounds and five steals against the Spurs for his fourth straight double-double and 12th in his last 15 games. He is the only player in the NBA in the top-10 in both scoring and rebounding.
ABOUT THE PELICANS (13-12): Davis had 30 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in the 99-90 win against Houston on Thursday, and Jrue Holiday chipped in 16 points and 10 assists. "This was a big team win for us, " Davis said. "Now we’ve got to get ready for Portland.” The Portland game is the second in a string of eight of 10 against teams with winning records.
1. Portland is 4-1 in the second game of back-to-backs and likely will be without F Nicolas Batum (wrist) for a second straight game.
2. There was a report earlier this week that the Cleveland Cavaliers have an interest in trading for Portland G/F Wes Matthews, a free agent at the end of the season.
3. Davis has scored 30-plus points in three of his last four games. PREDICTION:
Pelicans 103, Trail Blazers 99
Stats and Records