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Game Thread: Pelicans look to rebound after heartbreaking loss to same Trail Blazers squad

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Can New Orleans finally overcome Damian Lillard’s magic touch?

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The Pelicans will face off against the same Trail Blazers that have ripped out hearts in New Orleans twice this season and both times Damian Lillard was the man primarily responsible for the anguish.

Dame posted game winners in Portland’s 126-124 victory a month ago and as recently as two days ago when New Orleans relinquished a 17-point lead in falling 125-124.

According to Zion Williamson right after the latest heartbreaking loss, the Pelicans stubbed themselves in the foot and the Trail Blazers took full advantage.

“Execution. We made mistakes that you’d rather have them in the first three quarters and we just made them at the wrong time. Portland capitalized on each and every mistake we made.

“Coach can put us in position, but at the same time, I feel like we’ve got to come together as players. We’re the ones out there. We’ve got to execute. If we want to win, we’re just going to have to do it. It’s as simple as that.”

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who turned the ball over with 4.2 seconds left in regulation and the Pelicans ahead by a single point, succinctly said after yesterday’s practice, “The greatest teacher in life is experience.”

Let’s hope that something translates if the Pelicans find themselves in a similar situation tonight because it’s high time they close out a game in winning fashion against these Trail Blazers.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (17-23) at Portland Trail Blazers (23-16)

When: March 18, 9:00 p.m. Central

Where to watch: FSNOLA

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.