Two of the Portland Trail Blazers’ best players will be out for their marquee matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
Damian Lillard (right hamstring) and Jusuf Nurkic (right knee) won’t play against Los Angeles, the team Portland would face in the playoffs if the season ended today.
It will be the third straight missed game for Lillard but the first for Nurkic since he missed a game April 10 against Detroit. He also missed the last meeting at the Clippers on April 6.
Head coach Terry Stotts isn’t too concerned, however, with the long-term prognosis for his big man, Nurkic.
“It wasn’t a specific injury,” Stotts said prior to the last Clippers game April 6. “He (Nurkic) played in the back-to-back. It started to bother him on Sunday, he had a little inflammation, a little swelling.
“It wasn’t a specific thing that happened. He just ended up having a little swelling.”
The Blazers have fared well without Lillard in the lineup, going 3-1 this season.
CJ McCollum will likely see an increase in minutes against Los Angeles, while Enes Kanter will step in at the center position.
Lillard is averaging 28.7 points per game this season in an MVP-caliber season. Nurkic is adding 9.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
–Field Level Media