By R.L. Bynum

Nassir Little only scored two points in eight minutes on Thursday night but the big news was that he was finally back on the court for the Portland Trail Blazers after a battle with COVID-19 and then working his way back into game shape.

After being added to the active roster two games ago, Little entered the Blazers’ 135–117 home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves with 7:47 left in the game.

“When coach called his name, he started smiling right away and everybody on the bench kind of laughed about it,” Blazers star Damian Lillard said. “But, he’s a young kid and he’s played basketball his whole life to be in the NBA. To start his career, he’s had bumps in the road. I was just happy to see how happy he was to be on the court.”

A little more than three minutes later, Little made a step-back jumper from 16 feet out.

“It was good to see him out there,” said Lillard, who scored 39 points. “He’s been through a lot. Coming back this season after missing a lot of time, having to work his way back with his conditioning, all those things, it’s been a tough few months for him.”

It was Little’s first action since he played for less than two minutes on March 10, the final game in Portland before the 2019–20 season paused.

Little learned of a positive test on Dec. 1 and didn’t next text negative after that until Dec. 22 after a difficult three weeks in which he lost 20 pounds.

“For me, I was on the worst part of the spectrum, the hard end of the disease,” Little told The Athletic last month. “I didn’t have to go to the hospital or be on a ventilator, but I went through it bad. It hit me really bad. For about seven to 10 days, I was just really miserable.”

Ed Davis started and played 14 scoreless minutes for Minnesota.

Danny Green had nine points, five rebounds and two steals in the Philadelphia 76ers 122–109 loss at Brooklyn. Tony Bradley again didn’t play for the Sixers.

How Tar Heels did Thursday and when they play next

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
No game
Season statistics — 8 games, 8.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 30.3FG%, 19.0%3P, 95.0FT
Up next — Friday at Houston, 8 p.m.; Saturday at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
No game
Season statistics — 8 games, 17.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 49.0FG%, 36.7%3P, 77.1FT%
Up next — Friday vs. Toronto, 10 p.m.; Saturday vs. Portland, 10 p.m.
Tony Bradley, Philadelphia Sixers center/forward
122–109 loss at Brooklyn — Didn’t play
Season statistics — 1 game, 4.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 28.6 FG%, no 3-point or FT attemptsUp next — Saturday vs. Denver, 3 p.m., NBATV; Monday at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics — 8 games, 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 38.6FG%, 33.3%3P, 57.1FT%
Up next — Friday vs. Oklahoma City, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday vs. Denver, 6 p.m.
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
135–117 loss at Portland — Started; 14 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 0–0 3FG, 0–0 FT, 1 rebound, 1 block, -3, -0.1 game score
Season statistics — 7 games, 1.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist, 27.8FG%, 0–0 3FG, 75.0FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. San Antonio, 8 p.m.; Sunday vs. San Antonio, 8 p.m.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
No game
Season statistics — 3 games, 12.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.7 of an assist, 53.8FG%, 41.2 3P%, 1–1 FT
Up next — Friday vs. Phoenix, 7 p.m.; Sunday vs. Utah, 3 p.m., NBATV
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers guard
122–109 loss at Brooklyn — Started; 32 minutes, 9 points, 3–5 FG, 3–5 3FG, 0–0 FT, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 steals, -18, 7.8 game score
Season statistics — 9 games, 8.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 43.9FG%, 39.1 3P%, 80.0 FT%Up next — Saturday vs. Denver, 3 p.m., NBATV; Monday at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Justin Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder forward
No game
Season statistics — 2 games, 7.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 38.5FG%, 0–8 3FG, 4–4 FT
Up next — Friday at New York, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at Brooklyn, 6 p.m.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns forward
No game
Season statistics — 8 games, 13.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 50.7FG%, 42.0%3P, 10–10 FT
Up next — Friday at Detroit, 8 p.m.; Saturday at Indiana, 7 p.m.
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
135–117 win vs. Minnesota — 8 minutes, 2 points, 1–1 FG, 0–0 FG, 0–0 3FG, 1 rebound, 1 block, -6, 1.3 game score
Season statistics — Thursday’s game was his season debut
Up next — Saturday at Sacramento, 10 p.m.; Monday vs. Toronto, 10 p.m.
Theo Pinson, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics — 4 games, 0 points, 0.3 of an assist, 0–3 FG, 0–1 3FG, 1 rebound
Up next — Friday vs. Oklahoma City, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday vs. Denver, 6 p.m.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
No game
Season statistics — 9 games, 18.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 42.4FG%, 37.3%3P, 85.7 FT
Up next — Friday at Los Angeles Lakers, 10 p.m.; Sunday at Los Angeles Clippers, 4 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: