DimeMag

Pascal Siakam Couldn’t Answer CJ McCollum’s Dazzling Late Jumper As Portland Steals One From Toronto

For the second time in as many games, the Toronto (Tampa) Raptors saw a double-digit fourth quarter lead evaporate on them as the Portland Trail Blazers erased a 10-point deficit entering the final period to get a 112-111 win that felt like an absolute theft.

CJ McCollum, fresh off watching his beloved Cleveland Browns win their first playoff game since 1995, led the way with 30 points, six rebounds, and five assists — with Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony chipping in 23 and 20 respectively. On the other side, it was Pascal Siakam who tallied his first career triple double with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists leading the Raptors, who had three others who scored at least 18 points.

Fittingly, the game came down to the two stars of the game, with McCollum getting the best of that battle, as he hit a midrange jumper to take the lead off of some dazzling ball-handling to get to his spot and rise and fire.

With nine seconds to go, the Raptors had plenty of time to dial up a play for the game-winner and chose a Pascal Siakam isolation, much like they did a night ago against the Warriors. Unfortunately, the end result was also the same with Siakam getting a pretty good look after some hectic dribbling and backing down of Robert Covington, missing a short, spinning push shot as time expired.

The loss drops the Raptors to 2-8, with yet another close game going the wrong way for Toronto who have now lost six games by single digit margins. The inability to close games out has become a significant issue for the Raptors, and in this one it was the shot-making of the Blazers, led by McCollum, that gave their defense fits late and then they just couldn’t get enough buckets on the other end to keep up with the late charge from Portland.

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