The Blazers are back! It was home opener night at the Moda Center and the Trailblazers hosted the plucky New Orleans Pelicans. The Blazers hold the NBA record for most home openers won in a row. Would they extend that streak to 17, or end it here? Luck was on the Blazers' side as they pulled out a sloppy win over the banged up Pelicans, 103-93.

Cj McCollum welcomes the fans
Cj McCollum welcomes the fans Courtesy Trail Blazers - Bruce Ely

Did you know that Damian Lillard recently became a vegan? It's so Portland! He says he did it because he's looking to get any advantage he can and had heard good things about the diet. Perhaps he ate too much tofu on this night though, because his shots weren't falling at all. He scored just 13 points hitting only 3 of 16 shots. Meanwhile Big Boogie Cousins dominated for the Pelicans, plowing like a freight train through the Blazers defense. The crowd took to booing every time he touched the ball. That didn't help much as he ended the night with 39 points and 13 rebounds.

Ed Davis was the man for the Blazers in this game. He was everywhere, notching his 50th career double double. It was nice to see old "Phys Ed" return to his usual form after an injury riddled season last year. Speaking of injuries, Pelicans star Anthony "The Brow" Davis left the game after playing only five minutes. Apparently he and Lillard smacked knees together.

Speaking of smacks, Blazer big man Jusuf Nurkic started the season wearing this strange looking clear plastic mask to protect his face from flying elbows. He recently decided it was safe to play without it and promptly got smacked in the face about halfway through the first quarter. Ouch!

Courtesy Trail Blazers - Bruce Ely

Nurkic got into foul trouble shortly after that head blow and as a result sat out much of the game. The Pelicans hung tough even without their star player Anthony Davis and led 48-47 at the half. Let's check out the fans roaming the hallways during the break!

This woman is excited about a new Blazers season:


A mother/daughter duo!


Strike a pose!


Now here is a stylish Blazer themed couple:


You know you are serious about the Blazers when you bring your 5-month old to the game:


Ripped in Rip City!


Hardcore fans:


The Blazers continued to look a little out of step in the second half. The good news was that the bench stepped up. The aforementioned Davis provided heart and hustle while rookie Caleb Swanigan held strong with the big boys down low. Evan Turner had a nice game as well.

The Pelicans are the kind of team that the Blazers need to beat if they want to hang with the top contenders in West this year. This game wasn't pretty but it's a good sign that even on an off night for their "Big 3" (Lillard, McCollum, Nurkic) they could pull it out. McCollum had an awesome 4th quarter actually, hitting a set of sweet 3 pointers and scoring 16. Things remained close until the final minutes when the Blazers finally pulled away to win by 10.

Afterwards in the locker room the players seemed subdued. They were happy with the win, but everyone thought the team could play better. Nurkic fielded questions thoughtfully while the most of the others slipped out into the night.


At 3-1 in the young season, the Blazers now sit in 4th place in the West. They play the undefeated LA Clippers on Thursday here in Portland. It should be a good one, and the first big test against a solid western conference foe. Bring it on!