CJ McCollum has been one of the best shooting guards in the West all season long and last night against the best West coast shooting guard of all-time, CJ went off for 14 first quarter points including the first 9 for the Blazers.
“I think we all understand that CJ is a guy that can run off a bunch of points at a time,” Lillard said. “At the start of the game, we saw him hit that first one and so I tried to just keep calling plays and in transition keep finding him.”
He finished the game with 28 on 12 of 20 shooting but the best moment of the game came when he and Kobe Bryant shared a moment of respect.
“I just told him basically he’s a guy I’ve watched since I was a kid, he’s a guy I’ve looked up to and kind of modeled my work ethic after,” said McCollum. “He’s a guy who’s relentless with his approach and work ethic and I told him I just appreciated what he’s done for the game and that he’s inspired me. He might not even know it but he’s inspired me in terms of how I approach the game and him going through all that adversity. I got a lot in there in that short 20 seconds, just explained to him that I appreciate what he’s done for the game.”
Kobe Bryant finished this game with a season-high 21 points on 7 of 20 shooting.
“I didn’t check the stat sheet yet but I thought he was pretty aggressive,” said McCollum. He still can get to his spots, still got some good elevation on his fadeaways. Sometimes it goes in, sometimes it doesn’t, but I think he’s asserted himself pretty well. Look at the miles he has 20 years in. I commend him being able to come back from those usually career-ending, especially after 35, some of those are career-ending and he’s come back strong.”
FULL HIGHLIGHTS: CJ & KOBE