Trail Blazers’ Nassir Little provides needed spark in win at New Orleans: ‘We needed Nas’ energy’


The Portland Trail Blazers were losing bodies at an alarming rate prior to Thursday night’s 106-95 win at New Orleans. Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, Shaedon Sharpe and Keon Johnson. Out. Out. Out. Out. The fallout was that coach Chauncey Billups had just one veteran bench player to lean on. Nassir Little. He didn’t let the Blazers down. Especially in the second half. "We needed Nas’ energy, we needed his shot-making, his athleticism," Billups said. "And he just seemed really at ease out there tonight." Jerami Grant scored 27 points. Anfernee Simons had 23. But it was Little’s season-high 15 points off the bench on 6-of-11 shooting that made the performances of Grant and Simons hold up. "I think I’m a good player so I think when I get on the court, I’m just going to try to do what I can," Little said. "Take open shots, be aggressive and live with the results." Little did little offensively in the first half and the Blazers trailed 57-51 at halftime. Then Little scored five points in the third and eight in the fourth. Each basket seemingly came at the perfect time. Little did a little bit of everything. He hit a three-pointer for the seventh consecutive game and is now shooting 46.4% from that distance. But mostly, he got to the basket for layups and dunks while routinely finding holes in the Pelicans’ defense.