"We feel like if we can limit their shots, or have them take volume shots and kind of make it hard and (force) bad shots, we're going to do our best".
Saturday night in Portland, he won his first playoff game, leading the New Orleans Pelicans past the Trail Blazers 97-95. Conversely, Lillard and McCollum played one of their worst halves of the season. Rondo scored on a driving layup to make it 93-87, but Evan Turner hit a reverse layup, and McCollum followed with a trey from the corner to bring Portland to within 93-92 with 59.8 seconds on the clock.
And they passed the ball in the lane to Meyers Leonard - who had just entered the game. Its the Blazers' first division title since the 2014-15 season.
In total, he finished with 17 assists, eight rebounds, and six points, while also playing pesky defense on the Blazers' guards.
New Orleans beat the Spurs outside and inside, finishing with a whopping 78-42 edge in the paint and 32-17 in fast-break points. He would finish with 13. A McCollum 3-pointer capped an 18-4 Portland run that made the score 93-92 with nearly exactly a minute left. It shot 31.9 percent and trailed by nine at halftime after scoring 36 points, its most ineffective offensive first-half performance since the season's first weeks. Terry Stotts said that he would begin the series with Jusuf Nurkic, who did not see much time on Davis in the regular season, on the All-Star big man. The teams played to a 29-29 tie in the third quarter when the Pelicans led by as many as 23 points.
A three by McCollum in the corner then pulled Portland within 88-83 with 3 minutes to play and the Trail Blazers made a defensive stand on Davis to raise the building's volume to pregame levels. "We got to play better".
Portland's Damian Lillard missed a shot for the lead with 15 seconds remaining, and New Orleans' Jrue Holiday had a key block in the closing seconds. He was fouled and made both free throws for a three-point lead with 12.4 seconds remaining.
Game 2 is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
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Asked if she was ready for the wave of fans flocking to buy Beyoncé's merch, Corbett said her crew will be up for the challenge. Hours before Saturday's performance, the singer said she can't wait to see her fans.
The Blazers got off to a 10-6 lead with 6:54 left in the first.
Everything too little, too late for Portland on Saturday night.
Holiday added 21 points, outplaying both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and had a big blocked shot in the closing seconds as New Orleans escaped after Portland erased nearly all of a 19-point deficit.
Wade Baldwin joined Connaughton as Portland's guards off the bench, a change from a more typical rotation that saw Connaughton and Napier spell Lillard and McCollum.
DeMarcus Cousins, whose Achilles' tendon injury in late January ended his season, was not in Portland for the first game.
Lillard finished with 18 points (on 6/23 field goals), seven rebounds and seven assists.
"It being his first opportunity to be in the playoffs, I just feel really bad for him that he's not going to be able to participate", Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said before the game.