A jab here, a jab there.
And no, we aren’t talking about punches.
This season, the younger Trail Blazers have gotten a few old man cracks aimed at Carmelo Anthony.
It’s all love, though.
Bring on the jokes because Melo was laughing all the way to a season-high Sunday night.
The Trail Blazers clawed their way back after being down by as many as 10 points in the third quarter to snag a 107-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons Sunday.
Melo’s offensive production along with CJ McCollum’s takeover performance, sprinkled in with timely stops in the fourth quarter all added up to Portland snapping a three-game losing streak.
Anthony finished with 32 points in Sunday’s win, eclipsing his previous season high he set back on Jan. 7 at Toronto with 28 points.
And boy was Melo right -- the Blazers required all 32 of those points to get the win.
I’ll tell you, we needed every bit of that. Every single point, we needed that tonight. Those guys just wasn’t trying to go away. After we got out in the first quarter, we kind of let our foot off the gas and those guys got confidence. They gained some momentum, they stuck with it to the end of the game. – Trail Blazers veteran Carmelo Anthony on scoring 30 plus for the first time in nearly three years. -- Carmelo Anthony
With Damian Lillard out for the second straight game with a right groin strain, both Melo and McCollum have stepped up in a big way.
“We have to,” Anthony said. “We don’t have a choice, right? We’ve got to go out there and do what we’ve got to do to help this team win, at least put ourselves in position to try to win a basketball game. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to us two putting that pressure on us and saying this is what we’ve got to do. It’s the last quarter of the season. We’re in a dog fight trying to get that spot.”
That dog fight has included Gary Trent, Jr. stepping up in a big way on the defensive end. Trent, who was inserted into the starting lineup with Lillard out, admitted he got to see the Melo he grew up admiring.
It’s like vintage Melo tonight. Man, you know, I have flashbacks. I grew up watching him. I love all his moves. I got to see a lot tonight. Big up to Melo. -- Trail Blazers shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. said postgame
“It’s crazy. I play with him on video games,” Trent added. “I watch all his games, all his highlights, his playoff battles with Kobe Bryant in ’09. I watch all of his stuff. It’s crazy. It’s surreal to come into practice every day and watch him, watch how he works, his approach to the game, he’s a true professional.”
Melo’s response of Trent Jr. playing him in NBA 2K:
“I’ve heard it before, but they won’t come to me and say it… It puts things in perspective. It puts a lot of things in perspective to know back then where I was at in my journey to see those guys finding my journey… It comes back full circle. [For Trent Jr.] to make that statement, it makes me proud.”
Hearing that a second-year player plays him in NBA 2k, might make some people think Anthony would feel old with such a comment.
But, that’s not the case.
Melo was not only proud of that comment from Trent Jr., he was extremely proud of the way the Blazers came together to get the win Sunday night.
Now, who wants to bet Trent, Jr. went home Sunday night and started playing 2K?