New Orleans At Portland
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
The New Orleans Pelicans are limping to the finish line, and their two stars again will be on the sidelines when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers for Wednesday's regular-season finale. Power forward Anthony Davis will miss his third straight game with a knee injury and center DeMarcus Cousins will sit out his fourth consecutive contest due to Achilles' tendon soreness when the Pelicans attempt to end their five-game slide.
New Orleans was no match for the suddenly soaring Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday and suffered a 108-96 road loss that left coach Alvin Gentry perturbed. "We get paid to play 82 games and coach 82 games. Not 81." Gentry told reporters after the loss. "We've got another game left to play. So we'll either compete or we won't, but it's ridiculous." Portland has won three consecutive games and is headed to the postseason as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum might be rested for the second straight game after the Trail Blazers prevailed without them on Monday, when they stunned San Antonio 99-98.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN New Orleans, KGW (Portland)
ABOUT THE PELICANS (33-48): New Orleans is allowing an average of 120.8 points during its skid, and Gentry was stunned by the lack of fight his club showed during Tuesday's defeat. "The concentration wasn't there," the fuming Gentry told reporters. "We didn't do anything at all as far as execution. We didn't do anything from a competitive standpoint. We got absolutely zero out of this." The 62-year-old Gentry is just 63-100 in two seasons with the Pelicans, and his future hangs in the balance with heavy speculation that he won't be retained.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (41-40): Portland was 24-35 when March began and has since been one of the hottest teams in the NBA with a 17-5 stretch run. Lillard and McCollum fueled the scorching burst that saw the Trail Blazers overtake Denver for the final playoff berth in the West, but Lilliard insists it wasn't a two-man operation. "For us to come from 11 games under .500 and have to play a certain way, that takes a group effort," Lillard told reporters. "Everybody has to be on board for that type of mission to be accomplished. Our team, everybody was on the same page. We got our minds right, we knew what kind of basketball we needed to play, we knew how we needed to defend, we knew what our mentality needed to be."
1. The Trail Blazers have won their last 11 home games against the Pelicans.
2. New Orleans rookie F Cheick Diallo matched his personal best of 19 points and grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds against the Lakers.
3. Portland swingman Allen Crabbe (foot) could miss his third straight game.
PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 116, Pelicans 98
Stats and Records
Portland Off vs
New Orleans Def
108.0 Points For
106.5 Points Against