Damian Lillard out for Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans: Game preview, time, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online

So much for the much-anticipated matchup between former teammates, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Lillard has been ruled out for the Blazers’ game Thursday night at New Orleans. Apparently, he isn’t ready for back-to-back games after missing four contests with a right calf strain before returning Monday at Miami.

The Blazers won 105-95 Wednesday night at Charlotte. Lillard led the way with 26 points and seven assists.

New Orleans plays at Portland on Mar. 1.

Also problematic for the Blazers is that center Jusuf Nurkic (right adductor soreness) and forward Jerami Grant (left ankle sprain) are questionable. Both missed the Hornets game.

Should they not play, the Blazers would be at a severe height and talent disadvantage against Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.

Regardless of who suits up for the Blazers, they will face an extremely tough challenge.

Ratings wise, the Pelicans overall are superior. New Orleans ranks fifth in offensive rating (116.7) and 16th in defensive rating (112.7) for a net of plus-4.0, which ranks eighth. The Blazers rank 16th in offensive rating (112.8) and ninth in defensive rating (111.04) for a net of plus-1.75, which ranks 12th.

Ratings aside, the Pelicans are putting up 118.2 points per game (third) and will present a huge challenge to the Blazers despite their defense surrendering just 107.6 per game (eighth). Furthermore, the Blazers must curtail their turnovers or the Pelicans could run away with this game. The Blazers are tied with Houston (2-10) for committing the most turnovers per game (17.2).

They committed 19 during Wednesday’s 105-95 win at Charlotte that the Hornets converted into 27 points. The Pelicans have forced 15.6 turnovers per game, which ranks 7th in the NBA.

Both teams are coming off of playing road games on Wednesday. The Pelicans won 115-111 at Chicago with McCollum scoring just seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.


With 26 points and seven assists against the Hornets on Wednesday, Lillard hit 17,710 career points to reach 83rd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list moving past Shawn Marion (17,700) and Magic Johnson (17,707).


What: Trail Blazers (8-3) at Pelicans (6-5), 5 p.m., Thursday.

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans.

Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM).

TV channel: Root Sports Plus (in Portland: Comcast 1253, DirecTV 687-1).

Watch the game live online: You can watch this game live for FREE with fuboTV (free trial). You can also get this game on DirecTV Stream’s “CHOICE” package (promotional offers), if you are out of fuboTV trials, or simply prefer that platform and their pricing plans. If you already have a cable or satellite provider that carries Root Sports and want to watch online, you can watch this game live on Root Sports Live.


Moneyline: POR +250 | NOP – 300

Spread: POR +7 | Over/Under: 225.5


Blazers: G Shaedon Sharpe (right finger sprain) and F Justise Winslow (right ankle sprain) are probable. F Jerami Grant (left ankle sprain) and C Jusuf Nurkic (right adductor soreness) are questionable. G Damian Lillard (calf injury management), G Gary Payton II (core muscle surgery recovery) and C Olivier Sarr (right wrist sprain) are out.

Pelicans: F Larry Nance Jr. (knee hyperextension) is questionable G Kira Lewis Jr., (ACL recovery) and E.J. Liddell (ACL Injury) are out.


The Blazers play the final game of their six-game trip at 5:30 p.m., Saturday at Dallas.

— Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook). Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts

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