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Damian Lillard Reportedly Won't Play vs. Grizzlies Due to Birth of Child

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2018

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard runs up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard will miss Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies to travel home for the birth of his first child, ESPN.com's Chris Haynes reported Tuesday.

According to Haynes, Lillard flew to Portland immediately after the Blazers' 107-103 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on Tuesday night.

Lillard scored 41 points in the victory, including 20 points in the fourth quarter. He added nine rebounds and six assists to help the Blazers solidify their position as the third seed in the Western Conference.

The Oregonian's Joe Freeman reported Lillard had planned for his girlfriend's pregnancy by lining up private planes in each of the cities in Portland's three-game road trip so he could get back to Portland as quickly as possible. Freeman added Lillard's son had been expected March 19.

Lillard described himself as "really anxious" while he awaited his son's birth.

"The due date passed and I was hoping he [would come] on the due date," he said. "I'm on standby right now. So we'll see. He'll come when he's ready."

Lillard has missed seven games this season, with the Blazers going 5-2 in his absence. Considering the Grizzlies own the second-worst record in the NBA (20-54), Portland will feel good about its chances Wednesday night without the three-time All-Star on the floor.

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