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Blazers vs. Pelicans Final Score: 112-94; CJ McCollum Leads Portland To Opening Night Win

On opening night at the Moda Center, the Portland Trail Blazers roared to a huge 30-point lead, but the New Orleans Pelicans fought back through the second half to close the gap.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers gave another tantalizing glimpse of their potential tonight, as CJ McCollum torched the New Orleans Pelicans, carrying the Blazers to a fairly easy victory. Portland, who led by 30 at one point, left New Orleans unprepared for their potent back-court and balanced front-court. If this game is a sign of the season to come, many basketball analysts will end up with egg on their faces.

The Blazers were led by McCollum's huge 37 points on 6-9 from three, plus 6 rebounds. Damian Lillard had a tough shooting night, but still finished with 21 points and 11 assists. And Ed Davis took care of the dirty work against Anthony Davis, adding 12 points and 11 rebounds to counter Davis' 25 points and 10 rebounds.


McCollum took control in the first quarter, and suddenly everything looked easy for the Blazers. Al-Farouq Aminu opened the game by sinking a three-pointer, and the shots rained down from everywhere. Before the Pelicans knew what hit them, the Blazer lead was double digits, and McCollum burned the nets. He hit five three-pointers for 22 points just in the first quarter, and opened up the game for every other player. Portland led by an incredible 25 points after the first, nearly matching the score of the legendary "Perfect Quarter" against the Spurs.

Portland 43, New Orleans 18

It seemed like there was nowhere to go but down in the second quarter, and it didn't take long for the Pelicans to make a run. They cut the lead to 16, but that was all they could muster. Portland went on a run led by Lillard and Meyers Leonard, pushing the lead to an eye-popping 29 points, settling for a 27 point lead heading into the locker room. The Blazers shot 27-50 from the field in the first half, out-rebounded the Pelicans 33-20, and won the points in the paint, 34-16. This was a first-half burial.

Portland 70, New Orleans 43

New Orleans came out of the locker room hungry after a humiliating first half. Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon controlled the offense, and the Pelicans defense left the Blazers cold, missing every shot for 4 straight minutes late in the quarter. Only Aminu made more than one shot in the quarter for the Blazers, who grasped their lead and found ways to score whenever they could. Portland was outscored 24-17 in the quarter, but were left in a promising position.

Portland 87, New Orleans 67

As the fourth quarter opened, the Pelicans clearly knew they needed to make a run quickly. They scored on their first five possessions, pulling to within 13 points on Davis' back-to-back three-pointers with 7 minutes left. He followed that with a layup to cut the lead to 11. Blazers coach Terry Stotts called timeout with just over 6 minutes left. Lillard tried to put the team on his back and missed shot after shot, while Anthony Davis hit a third three-pointer to cut the lead to 8. McCollum hit a long two to restore a double-digit lead with three minutes left, then added another three-pointer to seal another big opening-night win for the Blazers.

Box Score

What's Next

The Blazers get a day off and will travel to Phoenix, where they play the Suns Friday night. In the meantime, stay tuned to Blazer's Edge for social media coverage, and Dave Deckard's analysis later tonight.

Post-Game Reaction