The Philadelphia 76ers (42-27) and the Portland Trail Blazers (32-39) battle this Sunday, August 9th. It’s the final week of the NBA regular season. Philadelphia is locked into the playoffs but will be without the services of Ben Simmons, who is exiting the bubble to have surgery due to knee injury.
The Trail Blazers, currently in 9th place in the Western Conference, still have some work to do with the San Antonio Spurs just a half game back. Game time for this contest is set for 6:30 pm EST on the Walt Disney World Sports Complex campus in Orlando, Fla. Portland (-2) is the favorite in a vital contest for the Trail Blazers.
What to Know – Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers enter Sunday having won three of their four games in Orlando, including their last three. Their game plan will need to change with the news on Saturday afternoon that Simmons is likely out for the remainder of the season. Philadelphia currently sits in 6th place in the standings but has an opportunity to move has high as 4th before the end of the season.
Tobias Harris scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in Philly’s 7-point victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday. Joel Embiid added 23 points and 13 rebounds. Simmons did not suit up in Friday night’s contest after suffering the injury earlier in the week against the Washington Wizards.
Philadephia escaped with a 129-128 win over Portland back in November when these two teams squared up for the first and only time this season. Veteran Al Horford led Philly with 25 points while Harris supplemented 23 in a close contest.
Following tonight’s contest, the 76ers will close out the season against the Pheonix Suns, Toronto Raptors, and Houston Rockets.
What to Know – Portland Trail Blazers
Portland fell 122-117 on Saturday to the Los Angeles Clippers, playing Kawhii Leonard, in a game that saw the Trail Blazers take a 6-point lead into the half but only score 42 points in the second half to lose. The Trail Blazers are 3-2 since the league restart and will face the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets to close out the season.
A trio of Trail Blazers poured in 20-or-more points in their loss to the Clippers. Leading the way was C.J. McCullom with 29 points, followed by Gary Trent Jr. and Damian Lillard, with 22 points.
In the lone matchup against the 76ers, Lillard scored a game-high 33 points and added nine assists. Rodney Hood, who has been sidelined since December with a torn Achilles tendon, added 25 points in the loss.
The Pick is In
Each of these final three games is must-wins for the Trail Blazers. With the Spurs just 0.5 games behind and a slight chance to swap spots with Memphis, Portland cannot slip up again. Even though the Trail Blazers are playing their second game in as many days, give us Portland -2 as they continue to battle Memphis for that 8th spot.