The Portland Trail Blazers saw another fourth-quarter lead evaporate, and despite big nights from its stars, fell on the road to the Indiana Pacers 118-111 Saturday, continuing a troubling trend of failing to close games.
The Blazers were led by C.J. McCollum (34 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds), and Damian Lillard (31 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds).
The opening 12 minutes belonged to Damian Lillard, who just went bananas from deep, knocking down 5-6 treys on his way to 19 points and 4 assists in the period. His outburst propelled the Blazers to a 44-point first quarter.
Damian Lillard (21 points) has set a Trail Blazers record with 683 points in the team's first 25 games of a season (681-C. Drexler, 1988).— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) December 11, 2016
With Lillard on the bench for most of the second quarter, the Pacers started to chip away at Portland’s lead. Suddenly desperate for any sort of offense, the Blazers looked to Evan Turner, who calmed some nerves and preserved a seven-point lead heading into the locker room.
Portland Trail Blazers 71, Indiana Pacers 64
It was C.J. McCollum’s turn in the kitchen to start the third quarter, and he was cooking, hitting five threes of his own for 15 of his 19 points to help carry the Blazers in the period.
Holding a tenuous 8-point lead heading into the final frame, the Blazers went cold at just the wrong time as Indiana used a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter to tie and then quickly take its first lead of the game at 99-98 on Al Jefferson’s and-1 layup with just under nine minutes remaining.
Some sparks from McCollum helped keep it tight down the stretch, but Portland only managed 13 points in the period and got outscored by 15 as the Pacers seized total control. Paul George’s putback lay-in with 31 seconds to go gave Indiana a five-point 114-109 lead and just about sealed it.
The Blazers get a day off before they head to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers in a NBA TV showdown Monday at 7:30 p.m. Stay tuned for more news and analysis of this game from Blazers Edge.