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Damian Lillard planning to ‘play more minutes’ in Blazers’ preseason game vs. Suns

Blazers, Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard is planning to “play more minutes” in the Portland Trail Blazers’ third preseason game against the Phoenix Suns.

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts expects Lillard and shooting guard CJ McCollum to play about 25 minutes on Saturday.

“Play more minutes tomorrow,” Lillard said, via Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports Northwest. “I know we’re going to play more so we have to get ready for that. Time to start tightening up and getting it ready.”

Lillard and McCollum played only 15 minutes each in Portland’s preseason opener against the Denver Nuggets.

Lillard missed just two games last season for the Blazers, who made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals before getting swept by the Golden State Warriors. The All-Star averaged 25.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 36.9 percent from beyond the arc and 91.2 percent from the free-throw line.

The Blazers gave Lillard a lucrative $196 million extension this summer. Portland also signed McCollum to a $100 million extension, keeping the dynamic backcourt together for the long-haul.

Lillard is the second-leading scorer in Blazers franchise history. He’s currently 5,131 points behind Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler. The four-time All-Star wants to win a championship in Portland and has no intention of leaving to form a superteam.