It was close down the stretch, but the Pelicans get the best of the Blazers to wrap up the 2016-’17 regular season. The Blazers will now prepare for the playoffs and the Golden State Warriors this coming Sunday.
The Blazers were led by Shabazz Napier with 25 points. Pat Connaughton scored a career-high 19 points with 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Noah Vonleh added 12 points and 19 rebounds.
The Blazers started with the death squad of Shabazz Napier, Jake Layman, Evan Turner, Noah Vonleh and Meyers Leonard. In front of a
enthusiastic loud Moda Center crowd, the Pelicans jumped to a 7-0 start before Napier led the Blazers back to a 13-11 lead. Napier scored eight in the quarter alongside Pat Connaughton. With only eight players on the active roster, seven Blazers scored in the first quarter to take an eight point lead.
Jordan Crawford got hot for the Pelicans, who briefly took the lead in the second. But Napier and Connaughton kept doing their best Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum impressions to keep the Blazers in the lead most for the quarter before heading into the half all knotted up at 53.
CJ McCollum addresses the crowd before the game.
Bazz picking up where he left off. pic.twitter.com/PpNYhEp9im— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) April 13, 2017
Halftime: Portland 53 , New Orleans 53
After scoring 32 on Monday night, Napier tallied 25 tonight. Connaughton scored a career-high 19 points and Vonleh played hungry hippo under the boards, grabbing 19 total for a game high. Moe Harkless, meanwhile, had 500,000 reasons why to stay away from the three-point line, scoring all his points (11) near the rim. Leonard and Turner got a nice workout.
Tim Quarterman masterminded a Blazers run to end the third, putting the Blazers up seven going into the final quarter. Holding a one point lead with four minutes remaining, the Blazers went on a scoring drought and Crawford put the Pelicans up by seven with his third three.
The Blazers came back and had a chance to possibly win the game but Meyers Leonard turned the ball over with 10 seconds remaining. Up three, the Pelicans fouled in the final seconds, sending Quarterman to the line who missed two free-throws. The Pelicans hold on in the end to win the game. Now, the Blazers turn their focus to the playoffs.
should've counted, but whatever pic.twitter.com/BrSEjNja0W— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) April 13, 2017
It’s on to the playoffs with a rematch against the Golden State Warriors in the first round. Game 1 is this Sunday at 12:30pm on ABC. Stay tuned to Blazer's Edge tonight, for extended analysis of this game from Dave Deckard.