The Blazers hit the road last night for a Friday Night Showdown with the San Antonio Spurs. After trailing by a point through three quarters, the Trail Blazers outscored the Spurs 32-22 in the fourth quarter for the 109-100 victory. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds while Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews each scored 21 and 24 points respectively.
CJ McCollum saw 11 minutes in this contest, scoring four points (2-5 from the field) with one rebound, one assist, and two personal fouls. CJ first came into the game with 1:39 left in the first quarter. He didn’t make a direct impact on the game for the rest of the first quarter but remained in the game to start the second. Thirty-three seconds into the second quarter, CJ fired his first shot from about 14 feet out and missed. As the game continued on, the Spurs started to take a small lead. That would remain until CJ feed Wesley Matthews for a three-pointer that gave the Blazers a 34-32 lead with 8:18 left in the first half. The very next play, CJ fouled Marco Belinelli on the floor for his first personal. After Manu Ginobili tied the game up with two free throws, CJ took the ball down the floor and nailed a jump shot for his first two points. CJ would miss his only three attempt on Blazers’ next possession and would then leave the game for the rest of the first half. His stats through one half: 2 Points (1-3 shooting), 1 assist, and 1 personal foul.
CJ would not see the floor in the second half until there was 2:49 left in the third quarter, when he would check in for Damian Lillard. About a minute into his time on the floor, CJ fouled a Manu Ginobili three-point attempt; Ginobili would hit two of the three attempts. In the fourth quarter, CJ would grab a defensive rebound, take the ball down the floor, and nail a 19-foot jump shot for his third and fourth points of the night. The next Portland possession, CJ would take his final shot of the night: a missed 14-foot jumper. After 20 more seconds on the floor, CJ would leave the leave for the rest of the night. His final stats: 4 Points (2-5 shooting), 1 rebound, 1 assist, and two personal fouls. CJ was also -7 for his +/- for the night. When he left the game with 10:08 left, the Blazers were down 79-83. As stated in the title, the Blazers would go on to down the Spurs 109-100. With the win, the Spurs move within half a game of first place in the Western Conference.
The Blazers will turn around and play tonight in Dallas against the Mavericks. The Mavs currently sit in 7th place in the West but are one of the better teams in the NBA when they’re at home. If CJ sees time, he’ll be guarding either Monta Ellis (20.1 PPG, 6 APG in 37.0 minutes per game) or, less likely, Philadelphia native Wayne Ellington (3.0 PPG, 0.4 APG in 8.4 minutes per game).
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