The Portland Trail Blazers fell short in their attempt of upending the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the teams’ first round playoff series on Sunday afternoon, but the dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum put on a scoring exhibition for the ages.
Lillard (34 points) and McCollum (41 points) combined to score 75 in the contest, out-dueling Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry who scored 61 points between the two of them.
There was a stretch in the second quarter in which McCollum was absolutely unconscious and single-handily kept Portland teetering between the lead and trailing by one or two points, and it was fascinating to watch.
However the two did cool off in the second half, and this is where Portland’s “others” come into play. If Portland wants to have Lillard’s “Blazers in 6” prediction become reality, they’ll need guys like Evan Turner, Moe Harkless and Al-Farquq Aminu to step up on the offensive end, as they did not furnish the team with much of anything on Sunday.
McCollum and Lillard may need to replicate something similar to this performance in Game 2 on Wednesday, but if another player can step up to the plate and provide Portland with timely shots and plays, they may be heading back to Rip City with the series all knotted up.