What's ahead: The Blazers were to play Chicago on Tuesday, Jan. 5, followed by another home game at 7 p.m. Thursday against Minnesota. They play at Sacramento, 7 p.m. Saturday, and then Toronto at Moda Center, 7 p.m. Monday.
What's behind: The Blazers went 2-2 on a road trip, beating the Los Angeles Lakers, losing to the L.A. Clippers and splitting two games at Golden State.
Gary Trent Jr. exploded for seven 3-pointers and 28 points against the Lakers, and then spent the next two games on the sideline with a calf strain. "We realize that we can be a good team," coach Terry Stotts said after the win.
CJ McCollum hit seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points against the Clippers, but Lillard had an off night. They were both fairly hot at Golden State (Lillard 66 points, McCollum 56 points), but the Warriors earned a split Sunday because of Stephen Curry's career-high 62 points.
Dame cred: Curry might be a two-time MVP and three-time NBA champ, but Lillard has exploded for three games of 60-plus points (two more than Curry). The classy Lillard, by the way, hugged Curry upon the Golden State star leaving the game with 62 points.
Lillard, from Oakland, California, has scored at least 29 points in seven consecutive games against his home area team.
Collins surgery: Big man Zach Collins suffered a setback in recovery from offseason ankle surgery. He underwent revision surgery to repair a left medial malleolus stress fracture. He's out indefinitely.
He'll be missed, as the Blazers counted on him as a rotation piece. Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter still get center minutes, Robert Covington starts at the power forward position and Carmelo Anthony can serve as backup. But, it's a good thing the Blazers acquired Harry Giles in the offseason; he could be an answer for big minutes.
Collins missed most of the 2019-20 season after shoulder surgery. He returned for NBA bubble play before suffering his ankle injury.
"I just really feel bad for Zach," Stotts said.
Milestones reached: Lillard has eclipsed 15,000 career points, and he stands a good chance to catch Clyde Drexler, Portland's all-time leading scorer with 18,040 points.
Carmelo Anthony passed Tim Duncan for 14th in NBA career scoring (26,499), and it figures he could work his way to ninth by the end of the 72-game season, passing Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone (27,409) — if he averages 13.8 points a game the rest of the way. He's averaging about that, so far.
McCollum hot: McCollum was averaging 28 points a game through six games and shooting .431 from 3-point land (both career highs, so far).
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