EditorsNote: fixes wording in fifth graph re: Davis’ rest
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 47 points as the visiting Portland Trail Blazers held off the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans 122-110 on Friday night.
Lillard scored 24 points and passed current Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge for second place on Portland’s all-time scoring list. Clyde Drexler is the Blazers’ all-time leading scorer.
McCollum finished with 23 points, Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood added 17 points each, Zach Collins scored 12, and Jusuf Nurkic had 11 points and 12 rebounds as the Blazers improved to 8-3 since the All-Star Break.
New Orleans lost its fifth straight game despite outstanding performances from Elfrid Payton, who had his third consecutive triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 16 assists, and Julius Randle, who had a career-high 45 points and 11 rebounds.
Jahlil Okafor, starting in place of All-Star big man Anthony Davis (Davis was being rested on the first night of a back-to-back), had 10 points.
New Orleans, which made just 12 of 25 free throws, played its fourth consecutive game without injured starters Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) and E’Twaun Moore (quad contusion).
The Pelicans led by one point at halftime and the momentum went back and forth in the third quarter.
The Blazers scored the first five points of the period, but New Orleans came back to take a five-point lead four minutes into the period.
Portland led by as many as six points before settling for an 87-82 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Seth Curry’s 3-pointer started the fourth-quarter scoring and pushed the lead to eight before New Orleans pulled within two on Frank Jackson’s dunk with 9:02 left in the game.
The Blazers twice increased the lead to six before Payton’s 3-pointer pulled the Pelicans within 102-99 midway through the period.
But McCollum, Lillard and Hood each made a 3-pointer as Portland took a 115-103 lead with 3:51 left.
Randle also set a career high for points in a quarter when he scored 21 as New Orleans took a 37-30 lead after one period. He was scoreless in the second quarter as the Pelicans clung to a 57-56 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media