-----CJ McCollum scored 31 points to lead the hot-shooting Portland Trail Blazers over the Brooklyn Nets 130-116 Saturday night at the Moda Center.
It wasn't pretty, but the Blazers got their second-straight win Saturday night with a balanced offensive attack. The Blazers had five players score in double-figures. CJ McCollum finished with a game-high 31 points, Damian Lillard finished with 19 points and 11 assists, Maurice Harkless dropped 18 points, and Yusuf Nurkic finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Al-Farouq Aminu came off the bench to add 23 points and 6 rebounds on 9-for-13 shooting.
The Blazers offense was clicking all night as they shot 57% from the field and 64% from three on 16-for-25 shooting.
Brooklyn (10-51) playing the second of a back-to-back after losing in Utah last night 112-97 got 26 points from Brook Lopez, 18 points from Jeremy Lin, and 20 points from Sean Kilpatrick off the bench.
The Blazers started the game on fire. Portland shot 75% from the field in the first quarter on 15-for-20 shooting to take a 37-27 lead. They would extend the lead to 44-29 as they started the second quarter on a 7-2 run, but the final nine-minutes of the first half was a different story. The Nets closed out the half on a 28-14 run to trim the Blazers lead to one at 58-57. With a number of open shots, the Nets shot 54.8% from the field in the first half including 8-for-15 from three point range.
The Blazers would extend their lead to 76-67 after a Harkless three point shot with 5:26 to play in the third quarter and the Nets would get no closer than five points the rest of the way as Portland continued to make shots. McCollum made sure the Nets wouldn't make a comeback by scoring 12 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter.
For those of you keeping track, Damian Lillard has now hit a three-pointer in 41 consecutive games tying the franchise record set by Clifford Robinson back in the 95-96 season.
The Blazers will now head to Minnesota for the first of back to back games on Monday and Tuesday against the Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Chad's Take- The biggest problem for the Trail Blazers tonight was a lack of energy and effort which resulted in poor defense. The Blazers should have put the game away in the first half, but they allowed Brooklyn to creep back in by giving up a 28-14 run in the final nine minutes of the first half. That is a bad sign when you're playing the team with the worst record in the NBA. The Blazers are not talented enough for those long lapses. Something that has plagued them throughout the season. Very happy to see Jusuf Nurkic follow up his performance Thursday against the Thunder with another solid performance scoring 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. At the very least, the Blazers have found a center and that is something to celebrate.
Chief on the attack: