The Portland Trail Blazers debuted a new lineup that showed a ton of potential in a Thursday scrimmage against the Indiana Pacers. Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, CarMelo Anthony, Jusuf Nurkic, and Zach Collins started the game and played for the entire first quarter. Portland built a 29-20 lead by the end of the first quarter, but let Indiana climb back into to claim a 91-88 victory.
The Pacers won despite being without without Domantas Sabonis, as the big man is dealing with a foot injury and won’t be able to join the team for an extended period of time. However, Victor Oladipo did participate after taking back his decision to sit out for the remainder of the season to rehab the leg injury he suffered last year. Five Pacers reached double-digits in points, but Justin and Aaron Holiday led the way offensively for Indiana. Here are some notable stats for the game.
Portland Trail Blazers stats
Damian Lillard: 4 points, 7 assists
Jusuf Nurkic: 14 points, 8 rebounds
C.J. McCollum: 11 points
Carmelo Anthony: 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
Zach Collins: 6 points, 4 rebounds
Indiana Pacers stats
Malcolm Brogdon: 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Justin Holiday: 16 points, 2 rebounds
T.J. Warren: 11 points, 3 steals
Victor Oladipo: 8 points, 6 rebounds
The new-look Trail Blazers could be dangerous in the Western Conference. Nurkic looked like the do-it-all big we all know he can be and totaled 6 points, 6 rebounds, an assist, and a block in the first quarter. He went on to lead Portland in points and rebounds despite resting down the home stretch. He had four fouls, but it’s not surprising that he got a little sloppy after not playing in a game for more than a year. Collins wasn’t as productive offensively, but he was efficient. He shot 3-for-5 from the field and tallied 6 points, 4 rebounds, and a block. Getting these contributions without Hassan Whiteside (Achilles) in the fold proves that the Trail Blazers are a serious threat.
The Pacers did well to get the win without Sabonis and Myles Turner and were able to share the sugar on offense. Oladipo only shot 30 percent from the field, and he’ll have to be better than that if Indiana wants to be competitive when the regular season resumes. Sabonis ranks second on the team with 18.5 points per game this season, and Oladipo will have to pick up the slack.