PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard plans to take a bit more control over games in the absence of backcourt mate CJ McCollum.
Lillard had 30 points and 15 assists as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Indiana Pacers 106-98 on Monday night in their first game since McCollum injured his left knee.
"I guess being a little more hands-on and managing what's going on out there, just knowing that a guy who averages 22 points isn't on the floor," Lillard said of his adjustment. "It doesn't mean I have to score more points, or dominate the ball, but just making sure that I've got control over what's happening out there a little bit more."
Jusuf Nurkic added 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 21. Portland has won four of five and is holding onto fourth place in the Western Conference.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Trail Blazers 106, Pacers 98
Myles Turner had a season-high 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who missed out on clinching a playoff spot in the East. Indiana (44-27) has lost six straight on the road.
The Blazers (43-27) have won 10 in a row against the Pacers in Portland.
Bojan Bogdanovic's layup pulled the Pacers to 100-91 with just under three minutes left, and Turner made free throws to get Indiana closer. The teams traded free throws down the stretch, but Portland was stung when Nurkic fouled out.
Wesley Matthews' layup closed the gap to 102-97, but Al-Farouq Aminu made free throws on the other end and Portland held on.
McCollum, averaging 21.3 points per game this season, got hurt during Saturday's loss at San Antonio. He has a popliteus strain and will be re-examined in a week, the team said. It isn't known whether he'll be back before the end of the regular season.
"I don't like to miss games, but I've got to do what's best for myself from a health standpoint, and doctors will sign off when they think I'm ready," he said before the game.
VIDEO INTERVIEW: Damian Lillard: 'We had a lot of guys step up'
Lillard said the first reaction was that the Blazers would miss him.
"But you're just happy that it wasn't a more long-term thing. It could have been a more serious injury," he said.
Turner scored 11 points in the opening six minutes and the Pacers led 19-12. They stretched the margin to 11, but Portland got to 31-28 by the end of the first quarter.
Lillard closed out the first half with a 3-pointer from nearly the pinwheel logo at center court, and the Blazers went to the locker room with a 55-48 lead. Lillard had 18 points and eight assists in the half. Turner also scored 18 to go with six rebounds.
After hitting just three 3-pointers in the first half, the Blazers made eight in the third quarter. Aminu had four of those and scored 14 points in the third quarter alone.
"We did miss some opportunities," Matthews said. "We're going to continue to fight, no matter what. Up 19, down 19, it doesn't matter, we're going to fight. We've just got to find ways to finish these games out, build on leads instead of losing them a little bit and come away with victories in tough environments."
Pacers: Domantas Sabonis received warm applause from the crowd when he entered. His dad, Arvydas, played for the Blazers from 1995-2001 and again during the 2002-03 season. ... Matthews, who played five seasons in Portland and was a fan favorite, was similarly greeted.
Trail Blazers: Portland won the first meeting this season 103-93 in October. It is the second straight year that the Blazers have swept the season series against Indiana. ... It was Lillard's ninth double-double of the season.
Kanter meets with Wyden
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden met with Blazers forward Enes Kanter before the game to discuss Kanter's concerns about retribution from Turkey, his native country, over his criticism of the government there. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan has issued an international warrant for Kanter's arrest.
Kanter did not travel with the Blazers to Toronto while on a road trip earlier this season, fearing reprisal. Wyden has urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make it clear to Turkey that any action against Kanter is unacceptable.
"Here in Rip City, we push back against bullies. We expose them, we try to make sure the world knows what kind of sleazy tactics they're using. I told Mr. Kanter as Oregon's senior senator and Oregon's guy on the senate Intelligence Committee, that I'm in this fight all the way, because we're a community that values the rights of free speech and free expression, and we don't walk away when a bully comes in and tries to shove around one of our own," Wyden said.
The Trail Blazers host Dallas on Wednesday.
BOX SCORE: Trail Blazers 106, Pacers 98
3-on-3 Blazers podcast
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Portland Trail Blazers (42-27) vs. Indiana Pacers (44-26)
Location: At Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Time: Monday, 7:30 p.m. PT
TV: ESPN, NBC Sports Northwest
Radio: Rip City Radio 620 AM
Streaming: Find streaming options here (including PlayStationVue, Hulu, Apple TV, Fubo TV and more); NBA League Pass (subscription required; local games and nationally televised games are blacked out).
About the Pacers
The Pacers are in fourth place in the Western Conference. ... Indiana is coming off a 102-100 loss at the Denver Nuggets and are 6-7 over their past 13 games. ... The Pacers are 12-12 since losing shooting guard Victor Oladipo to injury. ... Since the All-Star break, Indiana ranks 15th in offense (109.7 points per 100 possessions), 20th in defense (110.7 points per 100) and 20th in net rating (-1.0 points per 100). ... Pacers forward Bojan Bogdanovic leads the team in scoring since the All-Star break, averaging 22.7 points per game, while shooting 50.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line. ... Indiana is 17-17 on the road, but has lost their past five road games.
About the Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers are in fourth place in the Western Conference. ... Portland is coming off a 108-103 road loss against the San Antonio Spurs. ... The Blazers are 8-4 since the All-Star break and have won 9 of 13 overall. ... Portland guard CJ McCollum is out for at least a week with a left knee strain. The two players who figure to get most of McCollum's playing time are Rodney Hood and Seth Curry. Since the All-Star break, Hood is averaging 8.4 points while shooting 38 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from the 3-point line; and Curry is averaging 8.3 points, while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from the 3-point line. ... The Blazers rank second in offense (114.7 points per 100 possessions), 14th in defense (108.8 points per 100), and third in net rating (+5.9 points per 100) since the All-Star break. ... Portland is 25-9 at the Moda Center this season, the seventh-best home winning percentage in the NBA.
The injury report will be updated
Pacers: OUT: Victor Oladipo (right knee)
Blazers: OUT: CJ McCollum (left knee)