Portland Trail Blazers rallies to beat Detroit Pistons, 107-104
By ERIK GARCIA
PORTLAND, Ore. — With All-Star guard Damian Lillard nursing a groin strain, the Portland Trail Blazers got big games from CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony.
McCollum had 41 points, a career-high 12 assists and nine rebounds, Anthony scored a season-high 32 points and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied to beat the Detroit Pistons 107-104 on Sunday night.
“He led us tonight,” Anthony said of McCollum. “He came up big when we needed it, made the right plays, the shot was falling. He put us on his back tonight.”
It was the first time Anthony scored over 30 points since Feb. 25, 2017, when he was with the New York Knicks. He made a jumper with Portland protecting a two-point lead with 21 seconds left.
Anthony remained focused on the playoff fight his Blazers are in. With Portland four back in the loss column of eighth-place Memphis, Anthony knew it was up to he and McCollum to make sure the Blazers didn’t take a costly loss to the lowly Pistons.
“We don’t have a choice,” Anthony said. “We’ve got to go out there and do what we do to win games or put ourselves in position to win a basketball game. At the end of the day it’s going to come down to us too and saying this is what we got to do. This is the last quarter of the season and we in a dog fight trying to get that spot.”
Of the 27 points Portland scored in the fourth quarter, 21 came from Anthony and McCollum, who worked well together down the stretch.
Reserve big man Christian Wood had 26 points and nine rebounds for Detroit. The Pistons’ bench accounted for 70 points.
“He’s growing right before our eyes,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said of Wood. “I love where he is, I love his progression but he’s not a finished product yet. Christian’s got to get stronger. This summer he’s got to get in the weight room and get stronger in his core together so he can take some bumps and hits and still score.”