----- It wasn't pretty, but the Portland Trail Blazers overcame a bad night on offense to win their 17th-straight home opener over the New Orleans Pelicans 103-93 Tuesday night at the Moda Center.
The Portland Trail Blazers (3-1) didn't play their best basketball tonight, but they scrapped their way to a 103-93 win over the New Orleans Pelicans in their home opener.
Damian Lillard missed his first nine shots and never found his rhythm finishing with 13 points on just 3-for-16 shooting. CJ McCollum struggled most of the night, but he erupted with 16 points in the fourth quarter and finished with a team-high 23 points. Jusuf Nurkic struggled with early foul trouble and as a result played just 20 minutes in the game scoring 12 points and pulling down seven rebounds.
The Blazers bench picked up the slack for Lillard by scoring 43 points. Evan Turner scored 13 points and added four assists while Ed Davis was sensational with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Blazers caught a break tonight when Anthony Davis left early in the first quarter with a knee injury. Demarcus Cousins nearly won the game on his own finishing with 39 points and 13 rebounds, but he didn't get much help from the rest of his teammates.
Next up- The Trail Blazers host the LA Clippers Thursday night at the Moda Center. Game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM.
Chad's Take- The Blazers won ugly tonight and I love it. Portland shot just 37.5% from the field and turned the ball over 19 times while Damian Lillard went just 3-for-16 from the floor, and yet they still found a way to grind out a tough win at home. The Blazers played with great energy and effort on the defensive end of the floor and dominated the glass with a 63-41 rebounding edge. The bench poured in 43 points tonight and kept the team close until CJ McCollum caught fire in the fourth quarter. It's early in the season, but the Blazers appear to be a much tougher team than last year with a willingness to commit to the defensive end of the floor. If they continue to defend and rebound, good things will happen.