Grant, Blazers win again on the road, 106-95 over Pelicans

Jerami Grant scored 27 points and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame the absence of star guard Damian Lillard to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 106-95 on Thursday night.

Anfernee Simmons hit five 3s and scored 23 points for Portland, which improved to 6-1 on the road. Former Pelican Josh Hart added 17 points for the Blazers.

The Blazers, who won at Charlotte a night earlier, rested Lillard, who’d recently missed four games with a right calf strain.

But Portland wound up not needing him to improve to 4-1 on its six-game trip and get the best of former Blazers guard CJ McCollum.

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Zion Williamson scored 29 points and Trey Murphy III added 16 for New Orleans. Brandon Ingram scored 14 but fouled out with 3:32 to go. McCollum concluded with 13 points but missed 11 of 17 shots and went 1 of 7 from 3-point range.

New Orleans, normally among the NBA’s highest-scoring teams in the paint, shot just 41.8% (33 of 79) and was outscored inside, 46-36.

The Blazers looked a step quicker, rebounding 11 of their own misses and scoring 18 second-chance points.

Portland also converted 17 Pelicans turnovers into 21 points while committing only nine turnovers themselves.

Portland took its first double-digit lead with an 11-2, fourth-quarter run that included a 3 by Justise Winslow and a 15-foot jumper by Grant. Little added a dunk and a layup as he was fouled after a Portland offensive rebound. His free throw made it 89-79. New Orleans struggled to close the gap after that.

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