Blazers’ Lillard intends to return for Cavs

Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers open the season vs. LeBron James and the Lakers.

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard expects to return for Tuesday’s game at Cleveland, he said in an interview with NBC Sports Northwest on Monday.

Lillard, 27, has missed the last five games with a strained right hamstring. The Blazers are 3-2 without him and are coming off an overtime win Monday at Chicago.

He is averaging 25.2 points, 6.4 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 31 games this season. Last year vs. the Cavs, he averaged 27 points, 7.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds in two games.

Fellow Blazers guard C.J. McCollum told reporters that fantasy basketball owners should start Lillard on Tuesday vs. the Cavs.

Tuesday will also mark the debut of Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas, out since May with a hip injury.