McCollum, Blazers blast Hornets
CJ McCollum scored 30 points despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter as the Portland Trail Blazers romped past the visiting Charlotte Hornets 127-96 Friday night.
Damian Lillard added 20 points and Jusuf Nurkic collected 11 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Trail Blazers, who won their fourth game in a row and 11th in the past 15. Evan Turner scored 15 points, and Nik Stauskas had 13.
Kemba Walker scored 18 points but made only 5 of 19 shots from the field for the Hornets, who lost for the seventh time in 10 outings. Jeremy Lamb added 15 points.
The Blazers shot 55.9 percent from the field, hitting 15 of 40 3-point attempts (37.5 percent). Portland ruled the battle for points in the paint (48-36) and fastbreak points (26-10) and committed only nine turnovers -- just one in the first half.
Charlotte made 40 percent of its field-goal attempts, including 13 of 30 shots from behind the arc (43.3 percent).
Portland matched its season high in first-half scoring in mounting a 70-49 lead. The Blazers, who shot 54.7 percent from the field prior to halftime, were led by McCollum with 21 points and Nurkic with five points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. Walker and Lamb had 11 first-half points apiece for Charlotte.
The Blazers scored the first six points of the third quarter to expand their lead to 76-49. They upped the margin to 101-66 late in the quarter. It was 101-68 heading into the final period.
Charlotte opened the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 101-76. The Blazers upped their edge to 110-79 with 6:56 left on a Turner jump shot. The Hornets got no closer than 23 points the rest of the way.
Portland jumped to a 13-3 lead in the first 3 1/2 minutes. Nurkic's three-point play gave the Blazers a 27-16 advantage. McCollum scored 16 points to help Portland carry a 37-27 edge into the second quarter.
The Blazers used an 18-3 run to seize a 55-36 edge, then increased the difference to 68-46 late in the second quarter.
--Field Level Media
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