C.J. McCollum has been tremendous for the Portland Trail Blazers throughout the season and, on Tuesday, he played a huge part in a a 114-113 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. The talented guard finished the evening with 32 points, on 13-for-21 shooting, in a robust 39 minutes of play. But McCollum saved his best for last with a gorgeous game-winning floater that buoyed Portland to an important win.
McCollum’s heroics began with 12 seconds remaining, when he completed a three-point play that provided the Blazers with a 112-110 advantage. While that looked the part of a game-winner in its own right, future Hall of Fame forward Dirk Nowitzki had other plans.
Nowitzki’s clutch three-pointer to give Dallas the lead would last for only a moment, though, as McCollum’s response was swift and decisive. The former Lehigh star gathered the inbounds pass, evaded the defensive pressure from both Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews, and calmly dropped the ball over the rim in difficult but easy-looking fashion.
That capped what was a fantastic, back-and-forth game between two teams vying for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, making the outcome all the more important for the Blazers. Damian Lillard is, quite easily, the most famous member of Portland’s talented backcourt but, on this night, it was the C.J. McCollum show down the stretch and that proved to be enough.