Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers

BROOKLYN -- Damian Lillard on Friday said he could sense the Trail Blazers were close to clicking, and on Sunday the Blazers did just that against the Brooklyn Nets. 

Behind a breakaway third quarter that mixed a blend of hot shooting and active defense, the Blazers beat Brooklyn 129-109 at the Barclays Center to end a three game losing streak. 

CJ McCollum had 33 points, including a third-quarter stretch when he hit three three-pointers in a row, and Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard led a productive bench that helped the Blazers (8-7) score a season high.

Brooklyn (4-9) lost its fourth straight despite 21 points from center Brook Lopez.  

Part of the Blazers' third-quarter run was fueled by its much-maligned defense, which entered the game with the NBA's worst defensive rating. Portland had seven consecutive stops in the third, which helped push an 89-78 lead to 97-78.

The Blazers scored a season-high 70 points in the first half, thanks in large part to a prolific effort from the bench. Turner hit 7-of-9 shots and scored 14 and Allen Crabbe (11 points) and Meyers Leonard (9 points, five rebounds). All told, the bench combined to shoot 11 of 15 in the second quarter, when the Blazers scored 38 points and extended their 32-29 lead after the first quarter by three points.

Turner finished with 19 points -- his most since joining Portland in the offseason -- while Leonard added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Both Leonard and Crabbe hit four three pointers and the bench rotation went 18-for-30 from the field before the end of the bench played the final four minutes. 

 

But it was the offensive excellence of McCollum, who made 12-of-19 shots -- including 6-of-10 from three-point range -- that fueled Portland. It was McCollum's fourth game this season scoring 30 or more points.  His third quarter push allowed Lillard to sit out the fourth quarter after scoring 18 points in 28 minutes. 

Ed Davis started his second consecutive game at power forward, and for the second straight game the Blazers outrebounded their opponent, which hadn't happened since opening night. Davis had three points, six rebounds and two blocks in 18 minutes. The Blazers' defense also held Brooklyn to 39.8 percent shooting

Next up: Blazers at New York, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday (CSN)

PODCAST: