Kings go to Portland seeking playoff berth; Trail Blazers will sit All-Star Damian Lillard
The Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly made a decision regarding Damian Lillard’s status as the Kings head to the Pacific Northwest seeking their first playoff berth since 2006.
Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported Tuesday the injury-plagued Blazers are shutting Lillard down for the remainder of the season after losing nine of their last 10 games to fall out of playoff contention.
The Kings (40-35) will play a two-game set against the Blazers (32-43) on Wednesday and Friday at Moda Center in Portland.
The Kings are third in the Western Conference, five games ahead of the No. 4 Phoenix Suns. They can clinch a playoff spot and homecourt advantage with a win over the Blazers on Wednesday. There is a possibility they could clinch a playoff berth as soon as Tuesday night if the Golden State Warriors lose to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Blazers are five games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the final play-in spot in the West with seven games remaining. They haven’t officially been eliminated from playoff contention, but they are close.
Lillard, a seven-time All-Star, is averaging a career-high 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists in his 11th NBA season. He is shooting 46.3% from the field and 37.1% from 3-point range.
Lillard had 20 points and eight assists in a 115-108 victory over the Kings on Oct. 19 in Sacramento. The Blazers chose to rest Lillard in a 133-116 loss to the Kings on Feb. 23 in Sacramento after dealing with a day of weather-related travel delays.