Even without Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers blast skidding Pistons
CJ McCollum recorded 28 points and six assists and reserve Ben McLemore scored a season-high 17 points as the Portland Trail Blazers sailed to a 110-92 victory over the visiting Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.
Portland easily improved to 10-1 at home despite not having the services of six-time All-Star Damian Lillard, who sat out due to a lingering abdominal injury. The Pistons lost their seventh consecutive game.
Jusuf Nurkic had 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the Trail Blazers snapped a three-game slide. Anfernee Simons added 12 points, six rebounds and five assists while starting in Lillard’s place.
Thank you 🙏🏽 https://t.co/3RDOIw2nUh
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) December 1, 2021
Rookie No. 1 overall draft pick Cade Cunningham scored a career-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting and matched his career best of five 3-pointers for the Pistons. Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds while Jerami Grant added 14 points.
Killian Hayes tallied 11 points and Frank Jackson had 10 off the bench as Detroit dropped to 0-4 on a five-game road trip. The Pistons are 2-9 on the road this season and have lost on each of their past five visits to Portland.
Norman Powell (quadriceps) and Nassir Little (ankle) also were sidelined for the Trail Blazers, who shot 42.7 percent from the field and made 14 of 42 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range. McLemore, who played 18 minutes, and McCollum each made four 3-pointers while backup Dennis Smith Jr. added 11 points.
Detroit made 38.2 percent of its field-goal attempts, including a meager 25.7 percent (9 of 35) from behind the arc.
Portland outscored the Pistons 29-17 in the third quarter to open up a 21-point lead.
McCollum’s layup capped a 6-0 run to start the quarter and give the Trail Blazers a 60-45 lead. McLemore hit two 3-pointers late in the quarter, the first giving Portland an 18-point edge and the second coming with 1.9 seconds left to put the Trail Blazers up 83-62 entering the final stanza.
McLemore buried another 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to make it 90-64, and Portland cruised to the finish.
McCollum scored 11 first-half points and the Trail Blazers led 54-45 at the break.
McCollum nailed a 3-pointer to cap a 10-2 burst as Portland took a 41-32 lead with 5:52 left in the half. Tony Snell converted a four-point just over two minutes later to give the Trail Blazers a half-best 12-point advantage.