The Trail Blazers arrived in New Orleans just hours before tip-off against the Pelicans.
But the postponed travel due to inclement weather didn’t hamper the Trail Blazers early.
Damian Lillard scored 10 points in less than four minutes as he picked up right where he left off Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.
He led the Blazers in the first quarter with 15 points and five assists as the Blazers took a 35-30 lead.
For the Pelicans, it was Zion Williamson early who made his presence felt. He was on the attack from the jump as New Orleans took a 69-59 halftime lead.
With both teams on the second night of a back-to-back, the two’s offense slowed down as the game went along. Yet, it was Portland who picked it up on the defensive end led by Robert Covington. They also got it going from deep. Even from a huge night from Williamson, who hit a pair of free throws with 26.4 seconds remaining to give the Pelicans the one-point lead, the Blazers had the last word.
Portland defeated New Orleans, 126-124, thanks to who else, but Damian Lillard and his old-fashioned three-point play along with the Blazers coming up with two huge stops to end the game.
Portland struggled to get anything going offensively in the second quarter, only scoring 24 points.
While it was the opposite for New Orleans as the Pelicans caught fire from three in the second quarter. Plus, they continued to have success at the rim.
In the final two minutes of action, both teams came up with big-time threes. It was Portland, though, who had the last answer.
The Blazers were without Harry Giles (left calf strain), CJ McCollum (left midfoot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture).
Damian Lillard is playing at another level or as Enes Kanter put it – “He’s playing like a cheat code.” And as the Blazers struggled from long distance in the first half, Lillard and Carmelo Anthony were the only players to have made at least one three.
But Lillard also showed off his playmaking once again.
The Blazers point guard made sure to get his teammates involved early and often. Derrick Jones Jr. and Robert Covington were recipients of Lillard’s playmaking in the third quarter as the Blazers clawed back to take the three-point lead heading into the fourth.
Lillard recorded 43 points and 16 assists, which ties his career high, while also notching his third-straight double-double.
Gary Trent Jr. calmly knocked down timely threes in the second half to help the Blazers take the lead and keep it.
After initially being listed as questionable with a left foot sprain, Rodney Hood was available for Wednesday's game.
Hood made an immediate impact on both ends.
The veteran wing looked healthy and took it at the Pelicans in the second quarter.
It was Anfernee Simons off the bench who brought the scoring late. Simons was scoring inside and out.
With Enes Kanter the only healthy true center for Portland, the Blazers gave up size and oftentimes they also gave a lot of wide open drives. Zion Williamson took advantage of the open lane, just as he likes to do against any opponent. Williamson finished with 36 points and six rebounds.
New Orleans also found its stroke in the second quarter behind Lonzo Ball. He hit 4-for-5 from behind the arc to end the first half.
It took a half for the Blazers' three-point shot to get going.
A healthy Rodney Hood showed off his stutter-step on his way to the slam:
New Orleans shot 10-of-16 from three in the first half, while Portland went 5-of-17.
Next up: The Trail Blazers will host the Washington Wizards Saturday night before heading back out on the road. The Blazers and Wizards will tip-off at 7:00p.m. PST on NBCSNW.