National Basketball Association
L.A. Clippers at Portland
When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, October 27, 2016
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard said before the season that he expected to be in the MVP discussion this year and went out on opening night and backed up the talk. Lillard will try to lead his team to two straight wins to begin the season when he and the Trail Blazers host a few other players who expect to be mentioned in the MVP discussion with the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

Lillard exploded for 16 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter as Portland ran away late and earned a 113-104 win over the Utah Jazz on opening night Tuesday, drawing "MVP" chants from the home crowd. "As long as I’m giving an MVP-worthy performance, I love it," Lillard told reporters of the chants. "But if I’m out here and I’m not doing what I need to be doing, I don’t want it to be unnecessary." Lillard carried the Trail Blazers to a 4-2 win over the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs last spring as injuries decimated the Los Angeles roster. "I felt great -- as good as I've felt in several years," Clippers forward Blake Griffin, who suffered a quad injury in Game 4 against Portland, told reporters last week. "It's kind of surprising, actually. I felt good going into camp, but you never know how you're going to respond to a lot of live situations and a heavy load. But I felt great."

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (2015-16: 53-29): Health is one of the few things holding back Los Angeles, which brought in frontcourt backups Marreese Speights and Brandon Bass in free agency and drafted North Carolina forward Brice Johnson to support Griffin while adding Raymond Felton at the backup point guard spot to take some of the pressure off Chris Paul. Paul (19.5 points, 10 assists last season) joined Griffin on the bench for the final two games of that series against Portland and battled a thumb sprain in training camp but is not expected to be limited on Thursday. Paul managed 10 points and 10 assists in a 109-108 win over Portland in a preseason game on Oct. 13.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (1-0): Portland went 13-of-19 from 3-point range and 22-of-22 from the free-throw line in the opening night win over the Jazz and shot 52 percent from field. C.J. McCollum scored 25 points and Allen Crabbe added 18 off the bench while Noah Vonleh went 5-of-5 from the field in 16 minutes. "I’ve gotta do something great out there every game to try to help my team win," Vonleh told reporters. "Normally, it’s rebounding but tonight I was hot shooting the ball. I feel like the rest of the season, I’ve just gotta get back to rebounding around the rim more. There wasn’t too many rebounds out there tonight to go after."


1. Clippers SF Paul Pierce (ankle) is not expected to play on Thursday.

2. Trail Blazers C Festus Ezeli (knee) sat out the opener and is out indefinitely.

3. Los Angeles took three of the four regular-season meetings in 2015-16, including a 109-98 win at Portland on Jan. 6.

PREDICTION: Clippers 111, Trail Blazers 108
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
L.A. Clippers 0-0 W1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Portland 1-0 W1 1-0 0-0 0-0 1-0 1-0 1-0
Last Meeting
L.A. Clippers Portland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/29/16 LAC 103 POR 106 103 46 44.8 106 46 44.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
L.A. Clippers J. Crawford 32 40.0 12
Portland D. Lillard 28 42.9 6
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
L.A. Clippers D. Jordan 20 8 12
Portland M. Plumlee 14 5 9
Assists Player  
L.A. Clippers A. Rivers 8
Portland D. Lillard 7
Points Player Total FG% FTM
L.A. Clippers N/A
Portland D. Lillard 173 51.3 39
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
L.A. Clippers N/A
Portland E. Davis 47 12 35
Assists Player  
L.A. Clippers N/A
Portland D. Lillard 32
Quickchart Matchup
L.A. Clippers L.A. Clippers Off vs  Portland Portland Defense
L.A. Clippers Off vs Portland - Points For 0.0 Points For
L.A. Clippers Off vs Portland - Points Against 104.0 Points Against
L.A. Clippers - FG% 0.0 FG%
Portland - FG% 48.8 FG%
L.A. Clippers - Reb 0.0 Reb
Portland - Reb 31.0 Reb
Portland Portland Off vs  L.A. Clippers L.A. Clippers Defense
Portland Off vs L.A. Clippers - Points For 113.0 Points For
Portland Off vs L.A. Clippers - Points Against 0.0 Points Against
Portland - FG% 52.0 FG%
L.A. Clippers - FG% 0.0 FG%
Portland - Reb 34.0 Reb
L.A. Clippers - Reb 0.0 Reb