EditorsNote: Changed from 24 to 23 minutes in 8th graf
Led by 36 points from Pascal Siakam and 30 points from Fred VanVleet, the short-handed Toronto Raptors picked up a 114-106 road victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Terence Davis added 15 points for the Raptors, who earned their fourth win in five games.
Damian Lillard struggled for Portland, scoring a season-low nine points on 2-of-12 shooting. Rodney Hood led the Blazers with 25 points, hitting 5 of 10 3-point attempts. Portland lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Hood caught fire in the third quarter, hitting multiple triples to give his team the narrow lead. He flashed a smile to the Blazers bench, pleased with his return to the court after missing back-to-back games due to back spasms.
But the resilience and marked improvement of Siakam showed up late in the third, and Toronto took a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter.
An 11-2 run to start the fourth for Portland tied the game up, fueled by the play of CJ McCollum (19 points). Later in the quarter, the score was 94-94 before a 14-0 run by Toronto all but sealed the game in the defending champions' favor. Siakam scored 10 points in that sequence, capping it with a jumper for a 108-94 edge with 3:19 to go.
Rookie Nassir Little made his first career start for the Blazers, taking on the difficult task of guarding Siakam. The youngster out of North Carolina provided energy on both ends of the court and buoyed a Blazer teams looking for consistency out of its wings, holding his own in the first half against the Raptors' best healthy player.
Little finished with seven points and five rebounds in 23 minutes.
The Raptors, like the Blazers, are dealing with plenty of injuries to key contributors. They were without OG Anunoby (eye), Kyle Lowry (thumb) and Serge Ibaka (ankle) on Wednesday night. Portland was without Jusuf Nurkic (leg), Pau Gasol (foot) and Zach Collins (shoulder).
The win improved the Raptors' record to 3-1 on their current road trip, which concludes Saturday in Dallas.
The Blazers will travel to Texas as well for the opener of a six-game road trip, when they face the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.
--Field Level Media