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Game thread: Damian Lillard vs Brandon Ingram Round 1

First meeting of the season between the Pelicans and Trail Blazers

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans will face a Trail Blazers team that will be without CJ McCollum and Nassir Little but have their No. 1 man in Damian Lillard and starting center Jusuf Nurkic.

As all fans know, Dame needs little help when facing New Orleans, posting ridiculous stat lines as Portland swept the season series last year.

“You’ve just got to try and make him take tough shots,” Devonte’ Graham said in this morning’s shootaround. “He’s a dynamic guard who can score on all three levels. You’ve got to make it tough for him, mixing up your defenses — obviously you’ve got to go over the screens, you might throw in some traps, some blitzes and then when he’s in the paint, you’ve got to try and make him finish over the bigs.”

For more on tonight’s matchup, please give our preview a look. Also, be sure to read up on the newest member to the roster, Jared Harper.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (10-21) vs Portland Trail Blazers (13-18)

When: December 21, 2021, 7:00 pm

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, League Pass

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.