KENTAVIOUS Caldwell-Pope stole the thunder from a thrilling showdown between his Detroit teammate Reggie Jackson and Portland’s CJ McCollum in the extra periods, hitting back-to-back triples including the go-ahead trey to help the Pistons escape a 125-124 nailbiter over the Blazers in double overtime at the Moda Center on Sunday (Monday, Manila time).
Caldwell-Pope forced a jumpball on McCollum that Portland won but Mason Plumlee's half-court heave missed the rim for a shot-clock violation. The Pistons guard then hit the clutch three off a clever play from a time out, to put Detroit up for good with nine seconds left in double overtime. McCollum failed to cap his heroic efforts, scoring 14 of Portland’s 18 points in two overtime periods and hitting the three that tied the match in regulation, with a game-winner as his elbow jumper bounced out as time expired.
McCollum was poised to take the spotlight after hitting three straight baskets in double overtime, giving the Blazers a three-point edge, 122-119, with over two minutes to play. Al Farouq Aminu’s jumper put Portland’s lead to five but Caldwell-Pope answered with a triple to bring Detroit within two, 124-222.
Caldwell-Pope finished with 26 points including four triples but it was Jackson who led Detroit with 31 points, taking over in the first overtime period as he scored on back-to-back drives to put Detroit up, 114-111, with 24 seconds to go in extra time. But McCollum hit his second triple to tie the game at 114. Jackson missed on a jumper to beat the overtime buzzer, forcing five more minutes of play.
Andre Drummond came up big as well with 28 points, 14 rebounds, four steals and two blocks for Detroit, now at 18-21, rallying back from a 10-point deficit in the third quarter to complete a stunning comeback.
McCollum had 35 points to lead the Blazers, and Allen Crabbe scored a career-best 30 while Damian Lillard added 20 but could not prevent Portland from falling to 16-23.
Crabbe opened the fourth quarter in scoring all of the Blazers’ seven points to notch a new career-high and keep Pistons at bay, 94-89, over nine minutes to play. But an 11-2 rally by Detroit got them ahead 100-96 at the halfway point of the period.
McCollum broke a five-minute dry spell for Portland with a midrange jumper, and Mason Plumlee got a steal and a slam to tie the game at 100 with over three minutes to play. But back-to-back jumpers from Marcus Morris gave Detroit a four-point lead into the last two minutes of regulation.
Crabbe’s fifth triple of the game got Portland within one, 104-103 with 48 seconds left. And after Jackson answered with a step-back 18-footer in the next play, McCollum tied the game at 106 with a triple with eight seconds left in regulation. Jackson missed on his potential-game winning attempt and Drummond’s tip-in came after the buzzer as the game went into overtime.
Detroit got off to a hot start but Portland countered with a 13-2 run to take control midway in the first and carry a slim edge at the half, 56-53. The Blazers led by as much 10 near the end of the third, and took a seven-point advantage into the fourth quarter.