It wasn’t easy Monday night, but Portland has now won six straight over Charlotte.
The Trail Blazers ended the first quarter shooting an efficient 52.9 percent from the floor, but they still found themselves down 26-25 to the Hornets.
CJ McCollum took over in the second quarter, but it was a third-quarter of nine made three-pointers for Charlotte that kept them in the game. The Hornets proved they were not going away quietly.
Anthony Tolliver brought some much needed scoring off the bench when he came alive in the fourth quarter. Tolliver scored all 16 of his points in the fourth and the Blazers needed every last point with the Hornets' hot shooting.
Here are three quick takeaways from Monday’s win:
1. McCollum takes over early
The second quarter consisted of seven Trail Blazers personal fouls and it was also the quarter that McCollum caught fire. The Blazers starting shooting guard scored 13 points in the quarter alone when he went 5-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-4 from deep. McCollum would’ve been perfect from three in the second quarter had he not taken a ‘heat check’ three midway through the quarter that just clanked off the front of the rim.
McCollum’s hot shooting was contagious. Portland outscored Charlotte 37-20 in the second quarter.
2. Whiteside on the mend
After missing Saturday’s home game against Milwaukee, Hassan Whiteside returned as he continues to deal with an upper respiratory illness. After getting fouled, but yet, still missing an easy bucket down low in the first quarter, Whiteside just stared up at the basket in disbelief. Throughout the game, he looked like a guy who needed to shake off the rust on the offensive end.
3. A third quarter of 3s
At halftime, Portland held a 62-46 lead, and it looked like the Blazers were on their way to blowing out the Hornets.
But, then the third quarter happened…
Charlotte's Terry Rozier and PJ Washington made the Blazers pay from behind the three-point line. Rozier started off the Hornets flurry of four straight threes to begin the second half.
It was fitting for Charlotte that Devonte’ Graham completed the four-point play after Anfernee Simons fouled Graham while he shot a three at the top of the key.
The Blazers got in on the three-point action as the quarter came to an end. Damian Lillard hit from 47-feet as the buzzer sounded. The Logo Lillard three put Portland up 91-89 heading into the final period, despite the Hornets outscoring the Blazers 43-29 in the third.
Up Next: The Trail Blazers are heading back out on the road – this time it’s a three-game trip. The first stop will be in Houston Wednesday night. The Blazers and Rockets will tip-off at 6:30pm PT on NBC Sports Northwest and the MyTeams App.
Be sure to check back throughout the night and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players!