Damian Lillard’s number 0 on his jersey matched his point, rebound, assist and minutes totals Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, but the Portland Trail Blazers still triumphed in a 110-92 win.
Lillard suffered from abdominal pain after playing 31 minutes in Monday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz. His absence opened up opportunities for other guards on the roster to contribute.
Anfernee Simons drew the start, playing 36 minutes and scoring 12 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out five assists. C.J. McCollum led the way as the primary offensive creator, scoring a team-high 28 points on 11 of 26 shooting. Ben McLemore was the biggest beneficiary from Lillard not playing, as he scored 17 points while shooting 4 of 9 from deep. Coming into the game, McLemore had just 19 points all season long.
McCollum struggled to start the game, missing his first four shots as the Blazers were building a rhythm in the first quarter. It took a 10-2 run in the middle of the second quarter for the Blazers to build some distance between them and the Pistons.
In the third quarter, the Blazers eliminated any hope the Pistons had of a comeback by outscoring them 29-17. The lead ballooned to as much as 26 before the Blazers took their foot off the gas and cruised to the victory.
With the win, the Blazers have now won 10 consecutive home games and continue to feed into the narrative that the team plays better at the Moda Center. Luckily, the Blazers will play their next three games at home and build some more momentum.
The Blazers suit up Thursday night against the San Antonio Spurs. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. PST.