Oklahoma City Thunder | Game #49 Preview: Portland Trail Blazers

The losing streak continued for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night against the Indiana Pacers, and to make matters worse, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went down late in the game with a nasty sprained right ankle. He’s likely due to miss some time at least through the All-Star Break, and without him, the Thunder will lean on rookie Josh Giddey to be the primary ball handler.

Tonight the Thunder hosts the Portland Trail Blazers, who are no stranger to an injured roster as they have been without key players for much of the season, including Damian Lillard, who has missed the last 15 games due to surgery recovery for an abdominal injury.

Without Lillard, the Blazers have gone 8-7 on their way to a 21-29 record, which put them in 10th place in the Western Conference standings. As of now, the Blazers are in a spot for the play-in tournament for the playoffs, but at this point, they might make the decision to stop actively trying to win and start focusing on getting a better draft pick.

The Thunder knows all about tanking, but even if the primary focus isn’t on winning, the Thunder and the Blazers have had some absolutely monster matchups over the years. Portland is a slight favorite tonight, and despite the injuries on both sides, I expect this to be an exciting game that comes down to the wire

Projected Starters


  • PG: Josh Giddey
  • SG: Tre Mann
  • SF: Aaron Wiggins
  • PF: Luguentz Dort
  • C: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl


  • PG: Anfernee Simons
  • SG: CJ McCollum
  • SF: Norman Powell
  • PF: Robert Covington
  • C: Jusuf Nurkic



  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is OUT (sprained right ankle).
  • Vit Krejci is OUT (sprained right ankle).
  • Aleksej Pokusevski is OUT (G League – on assignment).
  • Isaiah Roby is OUT (G League – on assignment).
  • Paul Watson is OUT (G League – two-way).


  • CJ Elleby is OUT (strained left hamstring).
  • Damian Lillard is OUT (core muscle recovery).
  • Nassir Little is OUT (labral tear in left shoulder).
  • Larry Nance Jr. is OUT (right knee inflammation).
  • Cody Zeller is OUT (right knee recovery).


  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 25-26 (14-11 at home, 11-15 on the road) against the Trail Blazers in the regular season and 1-4 (1-1 at home, 0-3 on the road) in the playoffs.
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Trail Blazers 4 times, lost it 6 times, and tied 3 times.
  • The Thunder went 1-2 (0-1 at home, 1-1 on the road) against the Blazers last season.

Game Notes

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