The Portland Trail Blazers have won four straight.
All by double-digits.
Sunday’s 129-119 victory over the Boston Celtics, proved once again that the Blazers can score with the best of them, but they also proved they can make defensive adjustments in the second half.
After Jayson Tatum scored 24 points in the first half, he only notched nine points in the second half and Damian Lillard took on the challenge.
From the outside looking in, the changes of the revived Blazers squad seemed to happen in a flash.
But, that’s not the case, as both Lillard and CJ McCollum mentioned postgame.
The Blazers backcourt duo combined for 59 points, while Norman Powell added 23.
Before this road trip, the Blazers weren't on the same page for a complete game.
Yet during that time that's when the extra communication and work began.
“While we were in the middle of it, we were trying so hard to work ourselves out of it,” Lillard explained.
Lillard added that when it seemed like things were getting worse, they had to keep “their heads down” and “stay together.”
Portland's six-time All-Star's advice and leadership prevailed as we’ve seen time and time again.
And as Portland continues its battle for playoff positioning, McCollum believes this team's upswing couldn’t be timed out better.
“Understanding how many games are left, understanding what needs to be accomplished and how we’re going to accomplish it starts on both ends.”
With Lillard attacking the rim and looking like his nagging injuries aren’t bothering him as much during this road trip, McCollum mentioned the health of the team following Sunday's win.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who have played in big games and have played in the playoffs and you want to be playing your best basketball heading there and you want to be as healthy as possible and both of those things are ringing true for us.”