Damian Lillard expected to return to court for Trail Blazers Thursday vs. Lakers


Damian Lillard has missed five games with a sprained ankle, and the Trail Blazers went 2-3 in those with an offense that fell 5.3 points per 100 off its season average. C.J. McCollum had some monster nights, but they need both guys at the head of the attack.

The Blazers will get that back Thursday night when the Lakers come to town for a nationally televised game.

The challenge for Portland is that their defense has been better of late, including during the five-game stretch without Lillard. Having two smaller guards in Lillard and McCollum creates problems. If Portland can keep defending, they can climb back up into the playoff mix in the West.

They were also going to need Lillard to do that.