The Trail Blazers, for the second time in as many weeks, faced the East’s top team, the Philadelphia 76ers, and looked to once again upset them with a short-handed roster.
Last Thursday, a Dame-less, CJ-less, Nurk-less Blazers squad took down the Sixers thanks to a massive third quarter that saw McCollum joke that maybe the starters were the problem with the team and were holding everyone back. This time, Lillard was back in the lineup and had 21 points in the first half to help keep Portland attached to Philly, who led by just three, 63-60, at the half.
Late in the second quarter, the Blazers saw yet another player go down, this time by friendly fire, when Robert Covington’s elbow caught Enes Kanter right above the eye and had him bleeding rather profusely from his face.
Enes Kanter leaves the game with a face laceration
He walked off to the locker room pic.twitter.com/XdxccdyPeB
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 12, 2021
Kanter would walk off and as anyone who’s watched boxing or MMA can tell you, a cut by the eye always bleeds a lot and he walked back to the locker room early for treatment and maybe some stitches. For a Portland team short on frontcourt options with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins out, they would be in real tough shape going up against Joel Embiid, who had 23 in the first half, if Kanter couldn’t have continued, but he got stitched up and was back out there to start the second half.
Kanter got stitched up and will start the second half
— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) February 12, 2021