After losing each of the first two games of the series by 20+ points, the Portland Trail Blazers showed the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday they still have what it takes to make this a series. 

Thanks to strong performances by Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, the Trail Blazers managed to take Game 3 from the Clippers 96-88 to cut the series lead down to 2-1. While Lillard (32 points to go along with five rebounds and two assists) led the way as usual for Portland, it was McCollum who stepped his game up to keep the Trail Blazers alive in this series. 

McCollum displays best game of series

When it comes to the Trail Blazers, everybody knows what Lillard is capable of from a talent perspective.

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However, it's clear how dangerous this Portland team can be when McCollum is on top of his game as well. 

McCollum had his best game of the series on Saturday night after scoring 27 points against the Clippers on 11-of-22 shooting. For a player who was just recently named the NBA's Most Improved for the 2015-16 regular season, McCollum showed why he was deserving of the award and could end up being the deciding factor when it comes to whether or not Portland can end up taking the series from the Clippers. 

Lillard brushes off early series struggles

To say Lillard struggled in the first two games of the series against Los Angeles would be a huge understatement as the point guard shot a combined 13-of-39 from the field.

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In Game 3, Lillard finally displayed the type of performance Portland fans have been waiting for after finishing with 32 points on 10-of-20 shooting. 

Lillard has always been the type of player who seems to get better each season and he deserves all of the credit in the world for leading the Trail Blazers into the playoffs despite all of the changes from last season. While McCollum will certainly play a key factor for the rest of this series, the best chance Portland will have in advancing to the next round will fall on the shoulders of Lillard and whether or not he continues to play like he did in Game 3. 

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