Wait a second…
Now, blink again.
Hey, that’s Anthony Tolliver taking Cody Zeller off the dribble and finishing with ease in what turned out to be a complete fourth quarter for the Blazers big man.
The Trail Blazers veteran was out there looking spry Monday night against the Hornets.
Some would say he looked like his high school glory days.
In fact, that’s pretty much how CJ McCollum described Tolliver’s fourth quarter performance.
“It looked like he was back in Missouri. McCollum said with a smile. "A bounce in his step, he got to the lane, a little reverse layup, hit some threes, just brought a lot of energy for us and some veteran leadership.”
The Missouri native brought some much needed scoring off the bench in the fourth quarter. Tolliver scored all 16 of his points in the final period. And the Blazers needed every last point to come away with a 115-112 win over the Hornets.
“I didn’t realize that I had 16 in the quarter,” Tolliver said after reporters informed him that he tied his career-high with the most points in a single quarter.
The 34-year-old has been asked to do a lot for the Trail Blazers due to all the injuries the Blazers have dealt with this season.
Tolliver is currently the Blazers backup center.
It’s been apparent that even with Tolliver's inconsistent three-point shot this season, the Blazers look to him for his leadership.
But on Monday night, Tolliver really gave the Blazers everything he had in his toolbox.
I’m not a one-on-one type of guy. I’m not a guy who's gonna mix people up or anything like that, just somebody who is out there just trying to be in the right place at the right time. – Trail Blazers veteran Anthony Tolliver
Sure, Tolliver doesn’t look at himself as a guy who is going to cross somebody up or take them off the dribble, but that’s what he did against Cody Zeller midway through the fourth.
AT DID WHAT!??— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) January 14, 2020
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Tolliver went 7-for-8 from the field, including 2-for-3 from downtown. He also had 11 rebounds on the night.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said he would give Tolliver the game ball if the Blazers were a team that handed out game balls.
“I’m glad we kept our composure, and made plays when we needed to. Anthony Tolliver, we haven’t researched if that’s the most points that he’s scored in a quarter, but I told him in the locker room, 'we don’t give out game balls but if we did, he would get it,' Stotts said postgame.
And, it wasn’t just AT’s scoring that Stotts was happy about.
“It’s easy to just look at the points, but he got us extra possessions. When they were double teaming, he found the opening to make himself available. He just made a lot of hustle plays; tipping the ball out and getting extra possessions, I don’t know how many times he did that."
Damian Lillard agreed with his coach -- it was Tolliver’s hustle on the defensive end that made a difference.
“He obviously had a really good quarter. He made shots. He had an impact on our defense. And it was needed – a close game, a great effort by him. I think that was his best game of the season, obviously a win that we needed and he came through,” Lillard said.
But, as the 11-year veteran explained in the locker room Monday night, Tolliver was just making the right decisions at the right time.
“Just playing basketball," Tolliver said of his fourth quarter performance. "I don’t think too much about individual accolades or stats or anything like that. If I’m the one shooting it than, obviously, I want to make it, but tonight my teammates were finding me in positions to score and I was able to capitalize on them."
The Blazers were thankful to snap a two-game losing streak in big thanks to Tolliver’s individual accolades.
Now it’s off to Houston where Portland could definitely use more of this “Missouri-like’’ Tolliver.