Toronto beats Blazers in scrimmage
Damian Lillard sat out with a sore foot, and the Trail Blazers lost to Toronto 110-104 Sunday in a 48-minute scrimmage at Orlando, Florida.
Coach Terry Stotts said Lillard's injury wasn't serious and he expected the star guard to play in the third and final scrimmage, 3 p.m. Tuesday against Oklahoma City.
The Blazers, who also dropped a scrimmage game to Indiana, open their NBA restart eight-game seeding schedule Friday, July 31 against Memphis.
CJ McCollum had 21 points and five assists and Jusuf Nurkic backed up his strong performance against Indiana with 17 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals. Carmelo Anthony added 14 points.
Stotts went with a regular rotation plan, rather than playing the first and second units separately.
Hassan Whiteside (Achilles) played in the scrimmage, but Nassir Little (concussion) sat out again.
Whiteside and Nurkic, both true posts, started and played together. In real games, it's possible they could play together, but it's likely Zach Collins would play alongside either one of them.
"I thought they played well off each other," Anthony said. "I'm sure it was different for the both of them, two traditional bigs together out there and figuring out where they should be on the court. I thought communication was at an all-time high ... especially on the defensive end they were in sync. It's a positive for us, and for them to feel confident having each other out there."
While working on big lineups, the Trail Blazers have been woeful from 3-point land in the first two scrimmages: 12 of 54 (.222). Without Lillard on Sunday, the Blazers went 7 of 28 on 3-pointers. Stotts said the Blazers will try to be balanced offensively, anyway, moving forward.
"I want to get good shots," he said. "We haven't shot the 3 well, but we're not going to stop shootings 3s; you're not going to be seeing a steady diet from us. We've got inside guys and penetrators. We gotta score points where we can get them."
The Raptors hit 17 3-pointers (10 more than Portland). Serge Ibaka had 19 points and Pascal Siakam 18. The Raptors broke open the game by outscoring the Blazers by 17 points in the third quarter; they hit six 3-pointers and forced the Blazers into 5-of-19 shooting (.263).
"I thought we competed," McCollum said. "Especially in the first half we did a good job getting after it defensively. We did a good job defending the 3 early in the game," but Toronto kept shooting them and "it was a matter of time before they made some, and they did in the second half."
Stotts said that Lillard, suffering from inflammation on his left foot, had an X-ray on the foot and it came back negative.
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