Preview: Golden State At Portland
When: 10:00 PM ET, Friday, January 8, 2016
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon
The Portland Trail Blazers will be setting their lineup and checking it twice when they host the Golden State Warriors on Friday. The Trail Blazers had to hold out guard C.J. McCollum from a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday after a clerical error made the team’s second-leading scorer inactive.
Portland can use all the scorers it can find against the NBA-best Warriors, who lead the league in scoring average at 113.7 points and have run their latest winning streak to four straight. Golden State star Stephen Curry is playing through a shin contusion but is not expected to miss any more games. “He’s not risking his career or anything by this,” Dr. Brian Schulz, who works for the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s just going to have to deal with pain, which he’s proven in the past is not a big deal for him. It’s not a serious thing, but it’s definitely something that could annoy him.” The Trail Blazers just got their star point guard, Damian Lillard, back from a seven-game absence due to plantar fasciitis but have lost the two games with him in the lineup.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, CSN Bay Area (Golden State), CSN Northwest (Portland)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (33-2): Golden State is working Harrison Barnes (ankle) back into the lineup after a lengthy absence while monitoring Curry, who had to come out of Tuesday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers before talking his way back onto the court. “I’m not going to sit out four weeks, so we’ve just got to figure out how to protect it when I’m out there on the floor and keep playing,” Curry told reporters. “We’ve done a good amount. I’ve just had a couple of unlucky plays. We’ll keep addressing it and keep treating it, I’ll keep playing, and hopefully, over time, I’ll get through it.” Klay Thompson is picking up some of Curry’s scoring slack by averaging 32.5 points in the last four games.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (15-23): Lillard is 11-of-39 from the field and has 10 turnovers in the last two games but was up to 43 minutes of playing time in the 109-98 loss on Wednesday without McCollum alongside. “Every game we fill out an active-inactive list,” head coach Terry Stotts told reporters. “C.J. was mistakenly put inactive instead of Luis (Montero). I signed the paper without really noticing it but it’s my fault for not looking at it. Although we caught the error, we thought that we caught it in time, apparently we did not. C.J. was ruled inactive and that was that.” Portland is 0-2 on its five-game homestand and has dates against Oklahoma City and Utah coming up after Golden State.
1. Warriors C Festus Ezeli (toe) missed the last five games and is questionable to return on Friday.
2. Portland F Allen Crabbe scored 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting while starting in place of McCollum on Wednesday.
3. Golden State took all three meetings last season by an average of 10 points.
PREDICTION: Warriors 120, Trail Blazers 99