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Damian Lillard OUT Thursday vs. Kings for rest reasons

Apparently the All-Star break wasn’t enough for the star guard.

2023 NBA All-Star - NBA All-Star Game
Damian Lillard of Team Giannis shoots a three point basket during the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2023 NBA All Star Weekend on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers had delays getting out of the city for their game Thursday evening against the Sacramento Kings, and that has apparently taken too much of a toll on their key players. Portland has ruled Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant out due to rest, because the All-Star break was apparently not enough for either player.

The Trail Blazers are now down four starters, with Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic tending to long-term injuries. Portland will likely run Shaedon Sharpe, Matisse Thybulle, Cam Reddish, Nassir Little and Drew Eubanks as its starting lineup. The Blazers have become 11-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook against Sacramento, and it might be worth taking the Kings despite that massive spread.

The NBA will surely look into this matter, as Lillard wasn’t actually tending to any injuries after Sunday’s All-Star Game and was set to play in this contest for most of Thursday. Getting a rest day here and there is fine and players do need it, but immediately after a three-day break? This is a bit much, even in today’s load management era.