clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Final: Blazers Break Out From Pelicans' Grip, Win 119-104

It didn't exactly come easy, but the Blazers used excellent ball movement (30 team assists) to release some demons and defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 119-104 at home.

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

With a balanced effort, the Portland Trail Blazers fought off a hot New Orleans Pelicans squad Friday, winning 119-104 at the Moda Center.

The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard (27 points, 8 assists), C.J. McCollum (24 points) and Maurice Harkless' double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds).  Mason Plumlee also had a near-triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists.

The Pelicans were led by Anthony Davis (31 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks), and Jrue Holiday (16 points, 5 assists).


Another hot start from C.J. McCollum got Portland's offense going early, but again the struggles came on the other side of the ball.  McCollum had 10 points in the opening period, including an angle three-pointer which put Portland ahead by seven at 22-15 about halfway through the quarter, but New Orleans came storming back.

Former Blazer Tim Frazier led a fiery pace against his old club, pushing the tempo to attack a weak Portland transition defense.  The Pelicans have no shortage of size and boast one of the association's best finishers in Anthony Davis, who was able abuse whichever defender the Blazers would throw at him.  His 17-footer tied the game before a driving layup from Terrence Jones regained the lead for New Orleans at 31-29.

Frazier's close ties to his former teammates makes for an interesting sub-plot between these two teams, and it didn't take long for some sparks, picking up a double-technical along with McCollum for some extracurricular trash-talk near mid-court during a dead-ball.

Damian Lillard did well acting mainly as a facilitaor for most of his first shift, dishing out five assists.

End of First: Portland 32, New Orleans 34

The deficit grew as large as nine on Buddy Hield's layup in transition just 1:56 into the second period, but eventually Portland settled into a groove and managed to get some stops.  Davis continued his usual dominance, but the rest of the Pelicans went cold and the Blazers were able to quickly claw back and tie the game just three minutes later on a McCollum three.

Getting a boost from Meyers Leonard's seven points and five boards in the quarter, and riding nine more points from a sizzling McCollum, Portland took control for the final 10 minutes to seize a comfortable lead heading into the locker room.  Davis had 15 points and 7 rebounds at half, but nobody else on New Orleans had scored in double-digits.

Halftime: Portland 66, New Orleans 57

The Blazers picked up about where they left off to begin the third, scoring the first eight points of the quarter behind Maurice Harkless and again McCollum to put the Pelicans in a 17-point hole.  But for each bucket where it seemed like New Orleans' spirit might be broken, there was always an answer, usually in the form of Davis.

Davis continued to be a load, now even extending his range past the arc where he downed two triples for six of his 10 points to keep the Pelicans within fighting distance.

Looking for his shot more, Lillard started to come alive, scoring 12 points in the third, including back-to-back threes which restored a 16-point lead at 97-81 with just over a minute remaining.  Despite shooting below 50% overall from the field, Portland still crossed the century mark before heading into the final frame.

End of Third: Portland 100, New Orleans 83

That momentum all but came to a stop to begin the fourth, as following a running floater from Allen Crabbe, the Blazers went scoreless for nearly the next five minutes while New Orleans slowly crept back into contention.

Jrue Holiday's jumper pulled the Pelicans within eight at 102-94 before Leonard canned a straightaway three to end the drought, and then a minute later Holiday connected again to make it just a four-point game at 105-101.

But that's as close as it would get - nice ball movement found Harkless and Lillard both assisting on Mason Plumlee running dunks on consecutive possessions, and then the two put perhaps the finishing touches on the night with back-to-back buckets of their own to put Portland back up by 12 at 113-101.

After being a force to be reckoned with for the first 36 minutes, Davis was mostly a non-factor down the stretch.

Box Score

What's Next

The Blazers get a day off and then will host James Harden and the Houston Rockets Sunday evening at the Moda Center - tip is set for 6 p.m. Stay tuned to Blazer's Edge tonight, for extended analysis of this game from Dan Marang.

-- Ryan Rosback | | Twitter