Forward Carmelo Anthony officially joined the Trail Blazers on Tuesday, and he scored 10 points in Portland’s 115-104 road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Blazers were without star guard Damian Lillard, who was sidelined due to back spasms.
“It felt great to be back in the flow of the game, be back on the court, be back to where I think I belong at,” Anthony said postgame, according to ESPN. “Just being back out there with the guys again. I think most of all the routine — team bus, team lunch, being around the guys in the locker room — just the routine I’ve been used to for 17 years now ... so getting back into that. As far as the game goes, it felt good to be back out there.”
The Trail Blazers activated Anthony prior to the contest. Coach Terry Stotts told reporters Anthony would start at power forward and play about 20 minutes, and the 10-time All-Star did start and wound up playing 23:37. Anthony hit 4 of 14 shots, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range.
Lillard was scratched due to the back soreness he has dealt with for close to a week. He has hit just 10 of 46 shots over his past three games.
It wasn’t immediately known whether Lillard would miss more than one game. He is averaging 28.6 points and 7.1 assists in 14 games.
According to reports, Anthony’s one-year, non-guaranteed contract is worth up to $2.15 million.
The 35-year-old veteran had not played a game in the NBA since Nov. 8, 2018 with the Houston Rockets. Houston traded him to Chicago on Jan. 22, and the Bulls waived him on Feb. 1.
Before Tuesday, Anthony held career NBA averages of 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.02 steals in 1,064 games (1,056 starts) over 16 seasons with Denver, New York, Oklahoma City and Houston.
The Blazers granted Anthony’s request to return to the league in uniform number No. 00.
—Field Level Media