The roads weren’t the only thing frozen over Sunday evening in Portland. The Trail Blazers came out in the early going against the Detroit Pistons looking like a team that spent the previous 24 hours sleeping in, drinking some cocoa, and enjoying the rare NBA snow day. Eleven first-half turnovers lead to a fast break feast for the Pistons who didn’t look like they needed any help.
Allen Crabbe sparked the Blazers offense in the second quarter, hitting seven field goals in the period (Blazers’ high for a quarter this season). Meanwhile, Portland shook the ice off their shoes and began to lock things down on the defensive end as the half wound down, and carried a 3-point lead into halftime.
Allen Crabbe's career-high is 26. He has 17 points in the second quarter tonight.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) January 9, 2017
The second half continued trends from the first, with pick-and-roll basketball dominating for both teams. Crabbe continued his red hot night from all over the floor while CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard added to the firepower.
You can foul AC, but that won't even stop him tonight. pic.twitter.com/lqP0mBHgUV— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 9, 2017
Allen Crabbe is the first Trail Blazer to score 30+ points off the bench since Jamal Crawford (34, 4/11/12 vs. GS).— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) January 9, 2017
The Blazers managed to wrestle control of the game from the Pistons and would even carry a 7-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Pistons, led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Jackson, and Andre Drummond still had more to give. That trio keyed a Pistons run that looked to have won the game in regulation but McCollum came up huge down the stretch. After shooting 0-5 from distance, McCollum hit a game-tying three with only seconds to spare.
Free basketball would be had. The overtime period was filled with big shot after big shot, each team responding in kind when momentum had appeared to swing the other way. McCollum was the answer to seemingly every Blazers prayer as he hit numerous clutch shots. The only times he wasn’t on the floor were key defensive possessions where he was joined on the bench by Lillard, replaced by Evan Turner and Crabbe.
No CJ or Dame on that last defensive possession.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) January 9, 2017
McCollum would come up huge once again on the offensive end again, though, hitting another late shot to force double overtime.
However, McCollum’s heroics weren’t enough. Caldwell-Pope hit a three with little time remaining, giving the Pistons a one-point edge.
The Pistons escaped with a win that saw Crabbe net a career-high 30 points, McCollum drop 35 points, and Mason Plumlee come a basket short of his first career triple-double. Not exactly the easiest of losses to swallow for the Trail Blazers, and that was reflected in the locker room.
The Trail Blazers now head south to Los Angeles for a one-game road trip to take on the Lakers Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Blazer’s Edge Night 2017
Want to assist us in sending 2,000+ underprivileged Portland-area kids to a Trail Blazers game this spring? Check out Blazer’s Edge Night 2017 for information on how to get involved, and help spread the word!