McCollum scored 28 in the first quarter alone, setting a Blazers record and NBA season high for points in a quarter. He knocked down 11 of his 14 shots and outscored the Bulls by nine points in the frame.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts sat McCollum for nearly the first seven minutes of the second quarter, but he didn’t cool off during the lengthy break. He went into halftime with 32 points and came out with another 18-point quarter in the third, reaching 50 points in only 29 minutes.
Stotts was just about the only person who could slow McCollum down Wednesday night.
The Blazers coach again sat his red-hot guard at the beginning of the fourth quarter and kept him on the bench as the Portland reserves maintained a massive lead. No Blazer played more than 30 minutes. With a three-game road trip beginning Friday night in Toronto, Stotts’ decision to limit McCollum’s minutes is understandable, especially after he reached an even 50 points.
The Blazers have won seven of their last eight games dating back to mid-January. Keeping McCollum on the floor in a blowout wouldn’t be in the best long-term interest of the team.
Hypothetically, though, it’s fair to wonder how many points McCollum could have scored. He and Klay Thompson are the only two players since 1963-64 to score 50 or more points in less than 30 minutes, per Basketball-Reference.
McCollum might have gone for 60 or even 70 had he played 40-plus minutes. Instead, he just became the seventh Blazer in history to drop 50 or more points in a game.
Not bad for three quarters of work.
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