PORTLAND, Ore. -- Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 32 points, including a key basket in crunch time, and CJ McCollum had 41 points, a career-high 12 assists and nine rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied to beat the Detroit Pistons 107-104 on Sunday night.
It was the first time Anthony scored over 30 points since Feb. 25, 2017, when he was with the New York Knicks. He made a jumper with Portland protecting a two-point lead with 21 seconds left.
Anthony remained focused on the playoff fight his Blazers are in. With Portland four back in the loss column of eighth-place Memphis, Anthony knew it was up to him and McCollum to make sure the Blazers didn't take a costly loss to the lowly Pistons.
"We don't have a choice," Anthony said. "We've got to go out there and do what we do to win games or put ourselves in position to win a basketball game. At the end of the day, it's going to come down to us, too, and saying, 'This is what we got to do.' This is the last quarter of the season, and we in a dog fight trying to get that spot."
Of the 27 points Portland scored in the fourth quarter, 21 came from Anthony and McCollum, who worked well together down the stretch.
"I'm very comfortable with that," McCollum said. "I like low pick-and-rolls, side pick-and-rolls. Melo is good in isolation, he likes 15-foot jumpers. I know if I can turn the corner, then his man is going to be more hesitant to help. So it's either I'm going to be finishing and he's going to have opportunities to score. I think we played pretty well together and figure out ways to put the defense at a disadvantage."
McCollum scored or assisted on 14 consecutive Portland points in the first quarter and finished with 15 points and five assists in the period. The Blazers led 40-24, with Anthony adding 12 points.
Anthony continued his strong night in the third quarter, scoring 10 points and hitting a pair of 3-pointers, but the Pistons would not relent. The Pistons scored 11 straight points in the final few minutes of the period to take a 10-point lead. McCollum scored seven straight points to close the quarter, with Portland down only 85-80.
A basket by McCollum put Portland ahead 99-97 with 2:49 left. After Derrick Rose's layup, another runner from McCollum put Portland up 101-99 with 2:01 remaining. McCollum hit a pair of free throws before a dunk by Wood cut Portland's lead to 103-101. An empty possession gave Detroit the ball with 45 seconds left, but Rose's drive was blocked by Hassan Whiteside. A midrange jumper by Anthony after the block put Portland up 105-101.
Despite the Blazers' disappointing 128-115 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, Portland coach Terry Stotts liked what he saw from his squad, particularly in the second half.
"We did improve our transition defense and our defensive rebounding," Stotts said.