The Portland Trail Blazers finally got to play in front of the home crowd on Tuesday night (Oct. 24). Hosting the New Orleans Pelicans, the Blazers held the lead for most of the game and ended up winning 103-93. This win improved the Blazers to 3-1 on the season and continued the hot start for the team. Thoughts of returning to the NBA Playoffs are definitely on the minds of Blazers fans again.

CJ McCollum led the way with 23 points, making up for an off shooting night for Damian Lillard. McCollum was 7-of-15 from the field, but Lillard only made 3-of-16 shots, finishing with 13 points on the night.

Lillard also had six turnovers in what turned out to be his worst statistical game of the season. The rest of the team picked him up, though, showing that depth may be a big weapon for the Blazers this year.

Blazers dominate on the glass

One of the biggest assets for the Portland Trail Blazers is that the team has been able to control the rebounding edge early in the 2017-18 NBA season. On Tuesday night, the team amassed 63 total rebounds, including 18 on the offensive glass. Five players ended up with at least seven rebounds, led by the 10 that Ed Davis had off the bench. This led to a 63-42 rebounding edge that helped keep the Blazers ahead in the game.

The Blazers’ defense also held the Pelicans to just 39.5 percent shooting from the field and only 30 percent from three-point range.

Forcing 17 turnovers helped make up for the miscues on offense, including eight from DeMarcus Cousins alone. The big man is putting up All-Star numbers again this season, as he finished with 39 points and 13 rebounds against the Blazers.

Where do the Blazers stand in the Western Conference?

As of Thursday morning (Oct. 26), the Portland Trail Blazers are tied for the fourth-best record in the Western Conference at 3-1.

The team trails just the San Antonio Spurs (4-0), Los Angeles Clippers (3-0), and Houston Rockets (4-1). The NBA standings are certain to shift, though, with the Golden State Warriors (3-2) struggling a little bit to open the season. That’s one team to watch out for if they find that familiar consistency.

Starting out the season 3-1 after four games is a pretty good way for the Blazers to bounce back from an early exit in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

The first win was a 48-point victory to open the season against the Phoenix Suns and then the Blazers beat the Indiana Pacers, 114-96. Both games were on the road. Next up for the Portland Trail Blazers is a home game on Thursday night (7:00 PM PT) against the Los Angeles Clippers.