McCollum scores 28 in Blazers 114-96 win over Pacers
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) shoots over Indiana Pacers guard Cory Joseph (6) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. The Trail Blazers beat the Pacers 114-96. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
By Jeff Skirvin, Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting to lead the Portland Trail Blazers past the Indiana Pacers 114-96 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
With Pacers starting center Myles Turner out with a concussion, McCollum teamed with backcourt mate Damian Lillard to take advantage of an inexperienced Pacers interior defense.
Lillard did most of his damage in the paint in the first half. McCollum picked it up in the second half, scoring Portland's final 12 points of the third quarter and giving the Blazers a 91-73 lead.
The Portland pair made it look easy at times as they drove to the basket against rookie T.J. Leaf and second-year player Domantas Sabonis. Lillard scored 11 of his 18 points in the first quarter, and the Blazers led 62-52 at halftime.
Evan Turner scored 17 points off the bench, and his run of eight straight points in the second quarter helped the Blazers stay ahead with Lillard resting.
The Pacers hit seven of their first nine shots but finished the first quarter by making two of their final 12.
Leaf and Victor Oladipo scored 17 points apiece for the Pacers. Darren Collison added 14 points.
Former Purdue standout Caleb "Biggie" Swanigan, Portland's first-round pick (26th overall), returned to Indiana in an NBA uniform for the first time. Last season's Big Ten Player of the Year was introduced to cheers and scored two points. He had eight points in Portland's season-opening win.
NOT JUST A THROW-IN
Sabonis, acquired in the trade that sent Paul George to Oklahoma City, earned his first start of the season. The second-year player had three points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes. He scored 16 points off the bench in the Pacers' season-opening win over Brooklyn.
Blazers: Portland has won eight of its last 10 games against Indiana. ... McCollum saw his first action after serving a one-game suspension for leaving the bench during the Blazers' final preseason game.
Pacers: After attempting 34 three-pointers in their season opener, the Pacers had 18 tries from beyond the arc on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), connecting on just four. ... The Pacers haven't started 2-0 since the 2013-14 season.
Blazers: Portland wraps up a three-game trip Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) at Milwaukee. The Bucks swept the season series last year against Portland.
Pacers: Indiana plays Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) at Miami. The Heat have won their last five regular-season home games over the Pacers and 11 of 12 dating to 2010-2011.