Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans: Game preview, time, TV channel, how to watch ...

The Portland Trail Blazers will likely start guard CJ McCollum Tuesday against New Orleans for the first time since he broke his left foot Jan. 16 against Atlanta.

McCollum, not listed on the team’s injury report Monday, which means he is cleared to play, returns just in time to help the Blazers navigate a rough schedule that kicks into high gear this week with a five-game homestand against New Orleans (17-22), Dallas (20-18) and Brooklyn (27-13).

The Blazers went 14-11 without McCollum and center Jusuf Nurkic (broken wrist) in the lineup. A quality effort to be sure but the team faces a much tougher schedule in the second half of the season.

The Blazers pulled out a 126-124 win at New Orleans on Feb. 4 thanks to some heroics from Damian Lillard, who scored 43 points to go along with 16 assists. The Blazers shot 43.6% on threes thanks mainly to Lillard making 7 of 16 and Garty Trent Jr. making 5 of 10 to finish with 23 points.

The Pelicans got 36 points from Zion Williamson who had his way inside against the Blazers. What hurts New Orleans the most was the poor play of Brandon Ingram, who scored just 14 points on 4 of 12 shooting.

McCollum, who was averaging a career-high 26.7 points per game before he got injured, will certainly help Portland’s offense. But he could actually be an upgrade on defense, as well.

According to FiveThirtyEight.com, McCollum has a defensive rating of plus-0.1, better than Gary Trent Jr. (minus-2.5), Damian Lillard (minus-5.0) and Anfernee Simons (minus-6.3).

TRAIL BLAZERS VS. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS PREVIEW

What: Trail Blazers (22-16) vs. Pelicans (17-22), 7 p.m. PT Tuesday.

Where: Moda Center.

TV channel: NBC Sports Northwest (in Portland: Comcast 37/737). TNT (54/754).

Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM)

How to watch live stream online: You can watch this game live with your cable provider login, or you can watch the game live for FREE with FuboTV(free trial). If you already have a cable package, you can watch the game live on NBC Sports NW with your cable provider login information. There are a variety of other streaming options you can try: www.nba.com/blazers/watch. You can watch this game live with your cable provider login, or you can get the game on Hulu + Live TV (free trial) or Sling.

ODDS

Spread: Blazers by 1 | Over/under: NA

Moneyline: Blazers (-110) | Pelicans (-110)

STATE OF THE PELICANS

The loss to Portland left the Pelicans at a disappointing 12-16. The season hasn’t gotten much better since. New Orleans is 5-6 since losing to Portland recently lost 135-105 to Minnesota (9-30). But then two games later the Pelicans won 135-115 over the Los Angeles Clippers (25-15).

The Pelicans’ biggest issues have come on defense where they rank 28th (117.2) just ahead of Portland at 29th (117.5). Offensively, the Pelicans rank 6th (116.3) just ahead of the 7th-ranked Blazers (116.9).

The Pelicans are doing well in most offensive categories, including leading the NBA in offensive rebounds with 11.9 per game. But that defense holds them back. The team has lost seven teams even when it scores at least 116 points. Why? Because opposing offenses can pretty much do whatever they would like to.

New Orleans has allowed teams to shoot 39.1% on threes, the third-highest in the league, and to dish out 27.2 assists, second-most in the league.

Williamson is having a fantastic second season averaging 25.5 points and 7 rebounds per game. Ingram is averaging 23.7 points per game.

INJURIES

Blazers: C Harry Giles (left calf strain), C Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and F/C Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) are out.

Pelicans: G JJ Redick (heel) is out.

NEXT UP (Blazers schedule)

The Blazers host the Pelicans again on Thursday before hosting Dallas on Friday and Sunday.

-- Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).

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