Cold shooting dooms Trail Blazers in Game 1 vs. New Orleans

Cold shooting dooms Trail Blazers in Game 1 vs. New Orleans

Down by 19 points with fewer than four minutes left in the third period, the Trail Blazers narrowed the deficit to just one point in the final minutes.

Davis claimed his first playoff win ever, and for New Orleans, a first playoff win in seven years, a 97-95 victory Saturday night at Portland. It was New Orleans first playoff win since April 24th, 2011 when the Hornets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans' defense came up big both times, forcing a CJ McCollum turnover and a Damian Lillard miss.

Just three wins separated the No. 3 seed in the west - Portland, with 49 wins - and the No. 9 seed - Denver, with 46 wins. After a replay review gave Portland the ball back, backup guard Pat Connaughton took an inbounds pass from under the basket and had a layup attempt until Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday swatted it away from behind with 4.9 seconds remaining.

Holiday finished with 21 points and seven rebounds and Rajon Rondo dished out 17 assists with eight rebounds. Four Trail Blazers made two field goals off the bench in the first half.


Anthony Davis picked up the slack with Cousins out, averaging 30.2 points per game without his front court mate after scoring 26.5 points per game with Cousins. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum sparked Portland's comeback with 34 of their combined 37 points coming after halftime, but it wasn't quite enough to put the Trail Blazers over the top. But, they made only 13 of 41 shots. A McCollum 3-pointer capped an 18-4 Portland run that made the score 93-92 with nearly exactly a minute left.

For much of the night, it looked like Portland would be lucky not to get blown out.

Seeking his first career playoff win, Davis was the star of the show with a game-high 35 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks. In total, Portland carried a 27-15 advantage off the bench.

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