CJ McCollum scored with 9.6 seconds to go, while Pascal Siakam missed two chances to make a game-winning shot, and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated Toronto Raptors. The final result of this interesting match was 112-111 for the hosts, who came back from a big deficit to clinch the 6th triumph of the campaign.
McCollum had 30 points with six boards and five assists, hitting 10 of his 19 shots from the field. The most important was with 9.6 seconds to go, once he scored a mid-range jumper over Fred VanVleet, to give his Blazers a big win over the 2019 NBA champions.
Portland’s shooting guard was pretty pumped up following the game, suggesting that even though many doubt his abilities, he keeps getting better and better.
“I work on this stuff,” McCollum said. “I work on my game. I tell people all the time: `I’ve been ready.’”
— NBA (@NBA) January 12, 2021
Toronto was up 17 points midway through the second period, after Norman Powell made a three-pointer with 6:53 left until the break. The home team came back, taking a 61-60 advantage shortly after the start of the second half, but the guests from Canada made another run pulling away to a double-digit difference.
The Raptors had a 101-90 lead with a little bit more than seven and a half minutes before the end. But from that moment on, the hosts became splashing from all over the court. Portland’s 17-3 series saw them taking the lead, but the Raptors wouldn’t surrender, yet keep on pushing and making the finish very dramatic.
Siakam had isolation in the last attack, with Robert Covington guarding the Raptors’ forward. After that, he would miss a layup, and a put-back attempt from a nearby, thus casting a shadow on his first-ever triple-double performance.
The Cameroonian international scored 22 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had 10 assists, in 37 minutes.
“If we had made a couple of shots, we’d have a different record right now. But if you look at the record, it’s tough,” he told the reporters following the contest.
Kyle Lowry and OG Anunoby had 18 points each, with Lowry adding nine boards, but just two assists. He was pretty inaccurate from deep, scoring three of his 12 three-point tries. Freed VanVleet had 10 points, and he and Lowry were 9-of-30 from the field, combined.
Chris Boucher had a strong performance off the bench, dropping 20 points and 8 rebounds while hitting five threes. Norman Powell scored 10 buckets.
The situation is not good at all for the Raptors, who are 2-8 since the start of the season. Nick Nurse’s team lost two matches by one point in less than 48 hours, as they previously suffered a 106-105 defeat against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
Toronto will have a chance to improve the situation in the next five games, all of them taking place at their current “home” at Amalie arena in Tampa. Florida. The opening two are back-to-back contests vs. Charlotte Hornets.
As for the Trail Blazers, they lost Jusuf Nurkic early on during the match, and the big man is under evaluation due to his quad injury. Damian Lillard scored 23 points with seven boards and five assists, while Carmelo Anthony had a hot fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 20 points in that sequence. Enes Kanter added 14 points, missing just one shot from the field.
Portland travels to Sacramento to meet the Kings, before coming back home for a seven-game homestand.
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.