Damian Lillard Ruled Out for Blazers vs. Lakers Game 5 with Knee Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

The Portland Trail Blazers announced point guard Damian Lillard will miss Game 5 of the team's first-round series with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday after being diagnosed with a right knee sprain.

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes

Odds drastically slim of Portland extending series to six without Damian Lillard, but if that were to occur, the Bubble MVP would likely be unavailable the duration due to currently being unable to extend right leg, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

Lillard has emerged as one of the NBA's top players in recent years. He averaged 30.0 points, which ranked third in the league, along with 8.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 4.1 three-pointers in 66 games during the regular season, and he played an an MVP level in the bubble to help Portland earn a playoff berth.

Injuries have struck the typically durable Weber State product in the postseason, though. He suffered a dislocated finger in Game 2 against the Lakers and then exited Game 4 with a right knee injury Monday.

Anfernee Simons or Gary Trent Jr. will likely enter the starting lineup. CJ McCollum will probably see a lot more ball-handling responsibility, while Jaylen Adams could also get more run as part of the backcourt rotation.

Lillard, 30, is such an integral part of everything the Blazers do offensively that it's difficult to envision them playing anywhere near their peak without the five-time All-Star's floor-stretching ability.