Trail Blazers start 5 rookies vs Nuggets. That’s only happened 1 other time in the last 50 years

Portland Trail Blazers center Duop Reath, left, shoots the ball over Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Friday, March 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

Portland Trail Blazers center Duop Reath, left, shoots the ball over Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Friday, March 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers started five rookies Saturday night against Denver, only the second time that has happened since starters were first tracked on NBA box scores more than 50 years ago.

Scoot Henderson, the No. 3 pick in the draft, was in the lineup along with Duop Reath, Kris Murray, Toumani Camara and Rayan Rupert against the reigning NBA champions.

That was the first time an NBA team sent out five rookies to start since the Golden State Warriors on April 26, 2012, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Klay Thompson started that night against San Antonio along with Charles Jenkins, Chris Wright, Jeremy Tyler and Mickell Gladness in their final game of that lockout-shortened season.

Starters were first tracked on NBA box scores in the 1971-72 season.

The Trail Blazers have the second-worst record in the Western Conference. They are missing key players such as Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant, Deandre Ayton, Shaedon Sharpe and Malcolm Brogdon because of injuries.

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