Blazers Fail To Make It Worth The Wait In Double OT Loss To Pistons

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

PORTLAND -- Due to snow and ice, Saturday’s scheduled game between the Pistons and Trail Blazers at the Moda Center wasn’t played until Sunday night. Given that, it’s only fair that those who braved the elements and road conditions to attend the make-up game got a little something extra for their trouble.

But if those in attendance Sunday night would have known how the game would end, they likely would have begun their trips home early anyway.

The Trail Blazers led by as many as 10 points in the second half and led for much of the game but would ultimately fall 125-124 to the Pistons in double overtime in front of a crowd of 13,506 at the Moda Center.

“Well, it was a heck of a game,” said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. “Both teams made big plays, particularly offensively obviously. It’s certainly disappointing but to come back to put it in overtime in the first place, we got some big stops at the end of regulation and the first overtime. Obviously CJ (McCollum) made some clutch shots for us. Pope hit a terrific shot, well contested, well defended and we just came up short. It was a good effort.”

Portland is now 16-23 overall and 10-8 at home this season.

After going down early, the Trail Blazers went on a 11-0 run to take a 17-14 lead early in the first quarter. But Portland would turn the ball over six times, leading to 11 Detroit points, which helped the road team take a 31-30 lead into the second quarter.

But Portland would use another early-quarter run, this of the 13-2 variety in the second quarter, to take a 45-38 lead. Allen Crabbe’s play was integral in the run, with the 6-6 wing hitting two three-pointers in that stretch before finishing the second quarter with 17 points 7-of-8 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 shooting from three.

“Just a good night for me, shot the ball well,” said Crabbe. “I got a good rhythm early, teammates found me tonight. Just one of those games for me.”

Even though no other Blazer scored more than four points in the second quarter, Crabbe’s offensive explosion was more than enough to give the Trail Blazers a 56-53 lead going into the halftime intermission.

Both teams would shoot better than 50 percent from the field in the third quarter, with the Trail Blazers getting scoring from up and down the roster while the Pistons relied on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to score 10 in the quarter. Portland would go up by 10 in the quarter, their largest lead of the night, before going into the fourth and final quarter with an 87-80 lead.

But the fourth quarter would end up being Portland’s undoing, just as was the case the last time the Trail Blazers hosted the Pistons at the Moda Center. The Trail Blazers seven-point lead was gone before the midway point of the fourth and would never relinquish the lead again in the quarter. It would take a McCollum three-pointer off a perfectly placed inbounds pass from Mason Plumlee with 8.3 seconds to play in regulation and a bit of sturdy defense to send the game to overtime.

“When we’re up in the fourth quarter, we have to sustain that lead and push ti to double digits, get it to 15 and push it to 20. We didn’t do that. They ended up coming back and taking the lead from us in the fourth quarter. You can’t do that against good teams or average teams because they’re going to take advantage.”

That would ultimately be the case, though not before McCollum hit another three off of another perfectly placed pass from Plumlee to send the game into a second overtime.

But in the second OT, it would be Caldwell-Pope’s turn to hit the game-winning three, which ended up being his third of the second overtime, with 9.4 seconds to play. McCollum would have a chance to win the game with a pull-up 18-footer with 1.9 seconds to play, though the shot would miss the mark before going out of bounds with just 0.2 seconds on the clock, time that would elapse before Portland could redirect the ball toward the basket for a final attempt.

“I hit some tough shots, I hit some contested threes,” said McCollum. “Then I get a pull-up with the big backing up on his heels and I miss it a little short. It’s frustrating but it’s part of the game… Nine times out of ten I’d make that shot.”

The Trail Blazers were led by CJ McCollum, who hit game-tying three-pointers at the end of regulation and the first overtime, finished with 35 points on 16-of-28 shooting to go with six assists and three rebounds in 44 minutes.

The Trail Blazers were only in position to send the game to double overtime because of Crabbe, who scored 17 points in the second quarter on the way to a career-high 30 points on 12-of-15 shooting from the field and perfect 5-of-5 shooting from three. Crabbe’s 30 points are the most scored by the Trail Blazers reserve since Jamal Crawford scored 34 off the bench during the 2011-12 season.

“It was outstanding,” said Stotts of Crabbe’s performance. “To have 30 points on 15 shot attempts and not miss a three. He moved well without the ball, shot the ball with confidence, career-high. He had, obviously, one of his best games here.”

Damian Lillard added 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 43 minutes and Al-Farouq Aminu shot 70 percent from the field for 16 points and eight rebounds in 37 minutes. Plumlee came two points short of a triple-double, finishing with eight points, a career-high 12 assists and 10 rebounds in just under 40 minutes, making him the first Trail Blazers big since Mychal Thompson in 1984 to post a double-double with assists and rebounds.

The Pistons were led by Reggie Jackson, who shot 50 percent from the field to finish with 31 point while Caldwell-Pope finished with 26 points. Andre Drummond put up a double-double of 28 points and 14 rebounds in just under 52 minutes.

Next up, the Trail Blazers head south Los Angeles to face the Lakers Tuesday at Staples Center.

“This is a game we wanted to win,” said McCollum. “We competed hard but we came up short. Now we look forward to when we play the Lakers next. Try to take that game and one game at a time from here. You’ve got to try to build mini win streaks and try to get to .500.”

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM on CSNNW and 620 AM.


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