Portland Trail Blazers have made a massive rally in the last quarter to beat the Detroit Pistons 107-104, and to earn a big win. Carmelo Antony was once again clutch when needed, and the veteran forward sealed a jumper with 20 seconds to go, to pull away his Trail Blazers to a two-possession game.
Melo ended the night with 32 points, which was his personal best since arriving in Oregon. Also, this is his first 30+ game in almost three years. The last time he did, that was on February 25 in 2017 against the 76ers, while wearing the Knicks uniform.
“He made a little pop,” said Terry Stotts at the press conference, “he made some big shots, it is good to see him shooting threes as he did, very efficient night, he had a very good rhythm offensively.”
MELO. CLUTCH. pic.twitter.com/e8l2yfj7s6
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 24, 2020
Carmelo was 11-for-16 from the field, drilling five threes in nine attempts. After a long time, the fans had the chance to see him dancing on the court the way he did in the past, when he terrorized the rivals. The Blazers fans are happy to see him delivering that clutch hoop so routinely, as they know that Melo like this, might be of great help in the quest for the playoffs.
However, it would be unfair to talk about Portland’s comeback without mentioning CJ McCollum, who had 41 points and 12 assists with 9 rebounds. He spent the entire second half on the court, giving practically everything he had in his body. McCollum was 15-for-30 from the field, and knocked down six threes in 11 tries.
“He led us tonight,” said Carmelo about CJ, “came up when we needed it, made the right plays, his shots were falling tonight, he put us on his back tonight.”
The Blazers opened the game pretty well, and after a 23-2 run early in the first, reached a 30-11 lead with 4:10 left inside the same. However, they allowed 17 unanswered points to the guests from Michigan, who not only tied the game, but took the lead.
Soon enough, we had a game in which both sides traded buckets, and were close to one another. The Pistons managed to get away to nine points in the last quarter, 95-86, with 7:43 to go.
Still, Anthony and McCollum made the last push, which saw their team winning this contest, and staying in the race for the 8th position in the Western Conference.
Apart from the two above-mentioned players, Hassan Whiteside once again posted excellent double-double figures, 16 points and 17 boards with 4 blocks. He was pretty straightforward following the game about his productivity this season.
“I feel like I’m the Defensive Player of the Year,” he said.
Among the guests, Christian Wood had 26 points, he was 9-for-15 from the field and posted 9 rebounds. Derrick Rose had 15 points, the same as Brandon Knight.
Detroit is 19-40, and the organization already wrote off this year. It will be used to see which players might be of use in the future and leave them after the upcoming free agency. This was their first event on a four-game tour throughout the West. The next challenge is on Tuesday in Denver vs. the Nuggets, and after that, Pistons visit Phoenix and Sacramento.
On the other side, the Blazers await the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, too, and afterward head on tour throughout the East. Their opponents will be the Pacers, Hawks and the Magic.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.