Pelicans Dominate Trail Blazers for Convincing 126-107 Victory

CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA News
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans showcased their offensive prowess in a commanding 126-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers during Saturday’s NBA action, marking their sixth win in the last seven games. CJ McCollum‘s 30-point performance, complemented by Zion Williamson‘s double-double, underscored the Pelicans’ strength and depth.

“It was great to see CJ be aggressive, make some shots,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “That was the difference in the game for sure.”

Brandon Ingram and Trey Murphy III also made significant contributions, with Ingram scoring 22 points and blocking four shots, and Murphy adding 20 points. The team’s collective effort led to a shooting efficiency of 53.6%, allowing them to break open what had been a competitive game until the fourth quarter.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: CJ McCollum, Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers Updates

McCollum, hitting six 3-pointers, reflected on his recent performance and the importance of returning to form.

“I had a lackluster couple weeks,” McCollum conceded. “Tonight, I got back to the basics.”

Williamson’s impact on the game continued his streak of impressive performances, emphasizing his versatility and significance to the Pelicans’ lineup.

“Whatever he decides to do on the floor, when he’s right, he can do it – and rebounding is another component to that,” Green said. “He’s playing really good basketball right now.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: CJ McCollum, Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers Updates

The victory brought the Pelicans closer to the fourth place in the Western Conference, narrowing the gap with the Los Angeles Clippers.

For the Trail Blazers, Dalano Banton stood out with 28 points, continuing his recent scoring surge. Anfernee Simmons and Deandre Ayton also played key roles, but the team’s 20 turnovers proved costly, leading to 31 points for the Pelicans.

“You can’t afford that against a really good team,” Portland coach Chauncey Billups said. “It’s tough to absorb that. But I thought we did a pretty good job other than that.”

The absence of the Pelicans’ defensive leader, Herb Jones, due to injury was felt, yet the team adapted, particularly in the second half, to secure the win.

“He covers up a lot of our mistakes with his presence and ability to cover space, his closeouts, communication,” McCollum said of Jones. “We picked it up in the second half. We communicated a lot better.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: CJ McCollum, Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers Updates

Both teams showcased their offensive talents in the first half, with Williamson and Banton each scoring 20 points. However, it was the Pelicans’ defensive adjustment in the second half, as emphasized by coach Willie Green, that ultimately made the difference.

New Orleans outscored Portland 42-24 in the final 19 minutes, cementing their win and setting the stage for their next matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. The Trail Blazers, on the other hand, look to regroup as they head to Chicago for their next game.

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