Lillard, Trail Blazers set for matchup against the Rockets
Portland Trail Blazers (9-7, fifth in the Western Conference) vs. Houston Rockets (7-9, 11th in the Western Conference)
Houston; Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Damian Lillard leads Portland into a matchup with Houston. He ranks third in the league scoring 28.7 points per game.
The Rockets have gone 4-7 against Western Conference teams. Houston is eighth in the Western Conference with 35.2 defensive rebounds per game led by Christian Wood averaging 8.7.
The Trail Blazers are 6-5 against Western Conference opponents. Portland is seventh in the Western Conference with 9.8 offensive rebounds per game led by Enes Kanter averaging 3.8.
The teams meet for the second time this season. The Trail Blazers won 128-126 in the last meeting on Dec. 26. CJ McCollum led Portland with 44 points, and James Harden led Houston with 44 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: Eric Gordon leads the Rockets with 2.6 made 3-pointers, and is averaging 18 points while shooting 34.4% from beyond the arc. Victor Oladipo is averaging 14.5 points and 3.2 assists over the last 10 games for Houston.
Lillard is averaging 28.7 points and seven assists for the Trail Blazers. Carmelo Anthony is averaging 12.9 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 39.8% over the last 10 games for Portland.
LAST 10 GAMES: Rockets: 5-5, averaging 110 points, 45.6 rebounds, 23.4 assists, 8.3 steals and 6.2 blocks per game while shooting 45.2% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 106.7 points on 44.0% shooting.
Trail Blazers: 6-4, averaging 115.3 points, 44.1 rebounds, 21 assists, eight steals and 5.8 blocks per game while shooting 44.7% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 114.4 points on 46.5% shooting.
INJURIES: Rockets: Dante Exum: out (calf), Christian Wood: out (ankle).
Trail Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic: out (wrist), Rodney Hood: day to day (thigh), Zach Collins: out (ankle), Robert Covington: day to day (concussion), CJ McCollum: out (left foot).
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