Blazers beat Pelicans 103-93 to extend home-opener streak
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) —
CJ McCollum scored 23 points and the Portland Trail Blazers extended their NBA-record winning streak in home openers to 17 games with a 103-93 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.
Damian Lillard and Evan Turner each added 13 points for Portland, which is off to a 3-1 start for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
DeMarcus Cousins had 39 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double to start the season. The Pelicans were hurt when Anthony Davis departed with a left knee injury in the first quarter.
McCollum hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Portland up 87-81 with 7:32 left. Lillard, who had been cold through three quarters, added a layup and another 3 to extend the lead to 92-81.
The Pelicans answered with a 10-0 run to close to 92-91 with 4:06 left. Lillard was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws to give the Blazers a cushion at 99-83 with 1:25 left.
Davis left for the locker room midway through the opening period after he appeared to knock knees with Lillard. In his sixth NBA season, Davis had 27 points and 17 rebounds in New Orleans' 119-112 victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic got into foul trouble with three in the first half of the opening quarter and Portland fell behind 18-13. But the Blazers quickly turned things around with a 16-1 run to lead 29-19 going into the second.
Portland stretched the lead to 13 points but the Pelicans caught up to take a 48-47 lead at the half. Cousins led New Orleans with 13 points and nine rebounds at the break.
Lillard struggled through the first three quarters, going just 1 for 12 from the floor. Lillard was averaging 23.7 points going into the game.
Cousins, meanwhile, hit a turnaround jumper that put the Pelicans up 69-66 late in the third quarter. He had 18 of New Orleans' 25 points in the period.
The Pelicans led 73-71 going into the final quarter.
Portland's Ed Davis finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for his 50th career double-double.
Portland was coming off a 113-110 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. The Blazers had won their first two games of the season.
Pelicans: The Pelicans head to Sacramento on Thursday to visit Cousins' former team. In an interview with ESPN on Tuesday, Cousins said he should have left the Kings earlier but he was loyal to the team he started his career with. Cousins was traded to the Pelicans last season at the All-Star break. ... New Orleans had won three of the last four against the Blazers.
Trail Blazers: To celebrate the start of the season, Pyramid Brewing Co. on Tuesday introduced Blazermania IPA. The new beer was on tap at the Moda Center for the home opener.
The Pelicans visit the Kings on Thursday.
The Trail Blazers host the Clippers on Thursday, the second of a four-game homestand.