Tagged in: Portland Trail Blazers

Suns Debin Booker replaces injured Damian Lillard in All-Star Game

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was among the NBA’s biggest All-Star Game snubs and loudest critics of its selection process. As it turns out, the 23-year-old scoring savant is an All-Star after all.

Booker will substitute injured Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard in both Saturday’s 3-point contest and Sunday’s All-Star Game, the league informed on Thursday morning. NBA commissioner Adam Silver had the final say on which Western Conference player replaced Lillard.

Booker will fill Lillard’s spot on Team LeBron. That he was not already on the roster came as a surprise. The Suns star’s 26.4 points per match currently rank 10th in the NBA, and he is doing so on 50/36/92 shooting splits. Booker is also averaging 6.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds a night. His first All-Star selection cements his status as one of the game’s best young players.

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Lillard withdrew from the All-Star Game and 3-point contest after suffering a right groin strain (grade 1-2) late in Wednesday’s beat to the Memphis Grizzlies.

He plans to rehab during the break in hopes of leading the Blazers to a seventh straight playoff appearance. Portland currently trails Memphis by four games for the eighth seed.

Although this is his first All-Star Game, Booker has been part of All-Star Weekend in each of his five NBA campaigns. He has been in the 3-point contest three other times, winning the title in 2018 and also competing in 2016 and 2019. He was a finalist in that event as a 19-year-old in 2016, alongside Golden State’s sharpshooting duo of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.

Booker still holds the 3-point contest records for most points in any round and most points in a final round — he had 28 points in the finals to win the title two years ago. Booker took part in the skills challenge in 2017.

He also scored 25 points in the 2016 Rising Stars game and 17 points when he returned to that game for first- and second-year players the following season.

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Williamson’s pushes Pelicans past Blazers

Zion Williamson scored a season-high 31 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans used a dominant second half to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 138–117 Tuesday night.

”I expect to make an impact but I don’t expect to do nothing like this,” Williamson said in his usual, grinning, affable manner. ”I just kind of look to come in, just kind of fit in, just not try to mess up, but my teammates and coaches are always pushing me.”

‘I do hold myself to high expectations, but I think it’s just finding the line between reality and dreams,” Williamson added. ”If my teammates find me, they find me. If not, just got to make another play, get the rebound and just play defense.”

Playing 28 minutes in just his ninth NBA game, Williamson used his 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame, quick feet and explosive vertical to have his way with every defender Portland tried against him.

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Williamson was either too strong, too fast, or both. He mixed spinning dribbles and sudden baseline drives into his usual arsenal of soaring transition dunks and tenacious putbacks. Six of his nine rebounds came on the offensive end.

”I don’t really think he’s comparable to anyone that I have seen,” Portland forward Carmelo Anthony said of Williamson. ”Someone who is as powerful as that, who jumps like that … you can tell he’s getting better and getting a feel for the game.”

JJ Redick scored 20 points for New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 16 in the first quarter before taking command en route to a third consecutive triumph. Portland star Damian Lillard scored 20 points — less than half of his 42-point average over his previous 10 matches. 

Brandon Ingram was ruled for the game due to a sprained ankle.

The victory against Portland brings the Pelicans to 25–30, only three matches behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Portland Trail Blazers at Brooklyn Nets

Portland Trail Blazers (17-24) vs Brooklyn Nets (11-28)
Friday, January 15
Barclays Center | 4:30 p.m. PST
Portland Injury Report: 

Moe Harkless (Knee – Probable) | Brooklyn Injury Report:Jarrett Jack (Out – Knee), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Out – Ankle), Chris McCullough(Knee – Questionable), Willie Reed (Personal – Out)
SBN Affiliate: Nets Daily | Blazer’s Edge Night 2016

The Portland Trail Blazers (17-24) head east to face the Brooklyn Nets (11-28) at the Barclays Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 PST. Tonight’s game is the first of a three game road trip for the Blazers after a five game homestand.

The Portland Trail Blazers have an opportunity to build a bit of momentum before beginning a season-high homestand. The Brooklyn Nets are just hoping their first home win in over a month helps get the ball rolling.

While the Trail Blazers try to take advantage of a pivotal stretch starting Friday night in Brooklyn, the Nets seek their first winning streak since mid-December.

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The Portland Trail Blazers look for another victory after winning six of their last 10 games. The Portland Trail Blazers are averaging 101.2 points on 44.2 percent shooting and allowing 102.6 points on 44.7 percent shooting. Damian Lillard is averaging 24.7 points and 7.1 assists while C.J. McCollum is averaging 20.8 points and 3.7 rebounds. Al-Farouq Aminu is dishing 1.6 assists and Mason Plumlee is grabbing 7.9 rebounds. The Portland Trail Blazers are shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc and 72.7 percent from the free throw line. The Trail Blazers are allowing 36.1 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 12 turnovers per game. The Portland Trail Blazers have lost seven of their last 10 road games.

The Brooklyn Nets are desperate for a win after losing eight of their last 10 games. The Brooklyn Nets are averaging 95.6 points on 44.5 percent shooting and allowing 102.4 points on 46.1 percent shooting. Brook Lopez is averaging 19.7 points and 8.5 rebounds while Thaddeus Young is averaging 15.6 points and 1.6 assists. Joe Johnson is grabbing four rebounds and Shane Larkin is dishing 3.8 assists. The Brooklyn Nets are shooting 31.8 percent from beyond the arc and 76.2 percent from the free throw line. The Nets are allowing 35.7 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 14.2 turnovers per game. The Brooklyn Nets have lost 10 of their last 11 home games.

The Trail Blazers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Nets are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. Western Conference. The home team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.

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Chicago Bulls at Portland Trail Blazers

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The Portland Trail Blazers (6-9) face off against the Chicago Bulls (8-4) tonight in the Moda Center at 7:00 PM.

The Blazers will look to win their third straight game after beating both Los Angeles teams over the weekend. The Bulls are hoping to get back on track after a 106-94 loss to the undefeated Golden State Warriors on Friday. Prior to that game, the Bulls had four consecutive victories.

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About the Bulls: 

  • Chicago saw a four-game winning streak end Friday night, when it lost 106-94 to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. Jimmy Butler finished with 28 points and seven assists and Pau Gasol added 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the loss
  • The Bulls played without point guard Derrick Rose, who was sidelined with a sprained left ankle. After missing the last two games, the former MVP is expected to return against the Blazers. The oft-injured All-Star already was playing with a protective mask because he fractured an orbital bone during training camp.
  • Rose had played in the Bulls’ first 10 games of the season.
  • The Bulls have been one of the NBA’s best early-season defensive teams. They rank second in field goal defense, holding opponents to 41.1 percent shooting, and second in effective field goal defense (45.7 percent
  • Joakim Noah needs 619 rebounds and 37 offensive rebounds to become the franchise leader in both categories. Michael Jordan is the Bulls’ all-time rebounding leader (5,836) and Horace Grant is the all-time offensive rebounding leader (1,888).

About the Blazers:

  • After dropping seven in a row, the Blazers have won their last two. The most recent came Sunday night in Los Angeles, where they defeated the Lakers 107-93.
  • Point guard Damian Lillard recorded 30 points, a career-high 13 assists and six rebounds in the win.
  • Lillard ranks among the NBA’s top 10 in scoring (fifth, 25.5 points per game) and assists (tied for seventh, 7.1 per game) and ranks second in 20-point, five-rebound games with 12.
  • Center Mason Plumlee finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds against the Lakes, recording a double-double for the second consecutive game. It’s just the fourth time in his career he’s logged double-doubles in consecutive games. … Plumlee, who is shooting 59 percent this season, ranks third in the NBA in field goal shooting.
  • Lillard and fellow backcourt mate CJ McCollum are averaging 45.6 points per game, the third-highest of any duo in the NBA.

In ATS trends, the Bulls are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a loss of more than 10 points and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall, while the Blazers are 4-12-1 ATS in their last 17 games against a team with a winning record and 0-6 ATS in their last six against the Eastern Conference.

Head to head, the Bulls are 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings overall and just 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings in Portland.

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