Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 68 points as they secure a nail biter victory over the Brooklyn Nets 112-104.
The Blazers are now on a six game winning streak. Lillard becomes the first player in the season to score 30 points in five straight games. He’s also the first one in franchise history since Geoff Petrie during the 1970-71 season to achieve that feat. They have been an up and down team for most of the season. Currently 7th in the western conference they continue to carry the team, becoming a nightmare matchup against any opponent.
”No question they carried us,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said according to Yahoo Sports. ”Sixty-eight points from your backcourt, that goes a long way.”
The Nets on the other hand continue to come up short. At 15-42 they are in the bottom standings of the eastern conference. Brook Lopez had 36 points and 10 rebounds, Joe Johnson with 19 and Donald Sloan had 14. Sloan, who is now the starting point guard over Larkin and injured Jarrett Jack showing some positive signs for a franchise lacking continuity as a whole. They can score, but lack intensity in defense too late.
”We did not play particularly well on the defensive end in the first half,” Nets interim coach Tony Brown said. ”As soon as we got engaged and started being aggressive, things started to turn for us.”
Both franchises are heading into different directions. The Blazers have a bright future with a young core as the nucleus of the team. The Nets however look for questions on what they will be in 10 years with no draft picks being part of it.
Nets continue their long nine game road trip in Phoenix Thursday night. Blazers host the Houston Rockets the same day.