Home Sports Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum need to be better

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum need to be better

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Damian Lillard needs to be better.

He’s Portland’s best player, by far, and performances like Tuesday night’s — 19 points on 4-for-12 shooting and seven turnovers — aren’t going to cut it against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

But the Blazers’ 116-94 loss in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals wasn’t only on him. When Lillard struggled in Game 7 of the conference semifinals against Denver, CJ McCollum was there to pick up the slack with 37 points. In Game 1? Seventeen points on 7-for-19 shooting, including 1-for-5 from 3-point range. Again … not going to cut it. 

We rank the top-five performers from Tuesday night’s Game 1:

1. Stephen Curry, Warriors — The two-time MVP erupted for 36 points (the same as Lillard and McCollum combined), filling the void as Kevin Durant remains sidelined with a calf injury. He also sunk nine 3-pointers and had seven assists, six rebounds and just one turnover.

2. Klay Thompson, Warriors — The “second” Splash Brother dropped 26 points, including a late-game dunk that made him “so happy.”

3. Draymond Green, Warriors — He tallied 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals. 

4. Rodney Hood, Blazers — He was questionable after suffering a bone bruise in Game 7 against Denver, but he suited up and scored 17 points in 26 minutes. 

5. Moe Harkless, Blazers — He also dropped 17 points (on 7-for-12 shooting) and added three blocks.

Honorable mention: Enes Kanter, Blazers — The big man had 10 points and 16 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive glass. 

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