Road swing ends with Blazers' win

Portland beats Detroit 124-101 to sweep four-game road trip
Staff Report
AP photo

Damian Lillard had 33 points and 10 assists and CJ McCollum added 24 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers past the Detroit Pistons 124-101 on Wednesday, completing a sweep of a four-game road trip.

Carmelo Anthony and Robert Covington each scored 16 and Norman Powell added 14 as Portland improved to 29-18 overall and 15-9 on the road.

“It is always tough to win games on the road in this league, and that’s especially true in these circumstances,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “We had a 3-0 trip earlier in this season, and we thought these were four winnable games.

“But this was the last game of a road trip against a team with a poor record, so we could have overlooked it. That didn’t happen.”

The Blazers remained tied with Denver for fifth place in the Western Conference, just a half-game behind the Los Angeles Lakers.

Portland plays host to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday and Oklahoma City on Saturday.

Jerami Grant scored 30 points for Detroit, which lost for the fifth time in six games. Mason Plumlee added 18 points, but Detroit’s other three starters — Saddiq Bey, Josh Jackson and Saben Lee — combined for two points on 1-for-17 shooting.

Grant had 17 first-half points to help Detroit to a 52-51 lead, but Lillard’s 3-pointer on Portland’s first possession of the second half started a 17-2 run. The Trail Blazers hit their first five 3-point attempts of the quarter and Lillard finished with 16 points in the period as Portland took an 87-79 lead.

“Teams always have a lot of energy at the start of games, but that doesn’t always translate to the second half,” Lillard said. “Right now, stepping it up in the third quarter of games is our specialty and we have to keep doing that.”

The Pistons cut the gap to six early in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t put together a sustained run.

Portland shot 59.5% from the floor in the second half, including 9-19 on 3-pointers, and hit 20 of 21 free-throw attempts.