McCollum's heroics rescue Trail Blazers
PORTLAND — C.J. McCollum converted a three-point play with 7.6 seconds left to break a tie and lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a 108-105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.
Trapped in the corner near the sideline and the midcourt line, McCollum split two defenders, drove through the lane and hit a layup as he was fouled and stumbled to the floor, helping the Blazers avoid another embarrassing loss to the NBA's worst team.
McCollum finished with 25 points and five assists. Al-Farouq Aminu matched his career high with 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Blazers, who lost by 25 points at Philadelphia on Jan. 16.
Down by as many as 16 early in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia rallied to take a 100-97 lead with 3:10 to go behind a 13-0 run, capped off by consecutive 3-pointers from Hollis Thompson.
But McCollum's three-point play, a Sixers turnover and Damian Lillard's 3-pointer put Portland back in front with 2:36 remaining.
Another 3 by Thompson with 1:26 to go made the score 104-103, and after Maurice Harkless made one of two free throws for Portland with 46.5 seconds left, Ish Smith tied the game with a 15-footer with 23.4 seconds on the clock, setting the stage for McCollum.
Smith had 17 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. Thompson and Robert Covington also scored 17 for the Sixers, who have lost eight straight games and 19 of 20.
Portland took the lead midway through the first quarter thanks to a 7-0 run that was fueled by three consecutive Sixers turnovers.
The Blazers extended their lead to as many as 14 points in the second quarter and held a 57-49 lead at halftime.
Harkless had 16 points and eight rebounds for Portland. Lillard finished with 16 points and seven assists. Gerald Henderson added 11 points off the bench.
Jerami Grant scored 13 for the Sixers, and Carl Landry had 12. Nik Stauskas added 13.
RAPTORS 115, PELICANS 91: At New Orleans, DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, Patrick Patterson had 16 and the Toronto snapped a two-game losing streak to tie a franchise record with its 49th victory. Toronto was never pushed by the Pelicans, who were down to just nine players on the active roster because of injuries.
CAVALIERS 107, KNICKS 93: At New York, LeBron James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season, Kevin Love added 28 points and 12 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks.
HAWKS 112, PISTONS 95: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Paul Millsap had 23 points and nine rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks snapped the Detroit Pistons' five-game winning streak. The Hawks have won 13 of their last 16 and moved a game ahead of Miami atop the Southeast Division.
NETS 120, PACERS 110: At New York, Brook Lopez scored 23 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 to lead Brooklyn. Sergey Karasev added a career-high 17 points for the Nets, who took a 104-102 lead on Bogdanovic's 3-pointer with 5:41 remaining. Lopez then scored nine consecutive points.
MAGIC 111, BULLS 89: At Orlando, Fla., Orlando journeyman center Dewayne Dedmon scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, Jason Smith added 14 off the bench and the Magic dealt the Chicago Bulls a blow to their fading playoff hopes.
JAZZ 93, TIMBERWOLVES 84: At Minneapolis, Gordon Hayward scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and the road-weary Utah Jazz finished a five-game road trip with a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
THUNDER 111, SPURS 92: At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 31 points and Russell Westbrook added 29 to help the Thunder defeat the short-handed San Antonio Spurs. Enes Kanter had 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Spurs rested Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
HORNETS 115, BUCKS 91: At Milwaukee, Nicolas Batum scored 23 of his 25 points in the first half and Charlotte used a 3-point barrage to roll. Marvin Williams added 21 points and Kemba Walker had 18 for the Hornets, who connected on 16 of 29 3s.
CELTICS 102, SUNS 99: At Phoenix, Isaiah Thomas scored 28 points against his former team, and Boston held on despite almost blowing a 21-point lead. Evan Turner added 17 points, 15 of those in the first half, to go with 11 rebounds for Boston, which won its fourth straight.