McCollum scores 44 to lift Trail Blazers past Rockets in OT

Full Screen
1 / 7

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, left, celebrates with teammates after hitting a shot to give the Blazers the lead late in overtime of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. The Blazers won 128-126. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

PORTLAND, Ore. – CJ McCollum scored 44 points, including a 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left that gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 128-126 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

Damian Lillard had 32 points and nine assists to help Portland get its first win. McCollum also had eight assists.

McCollum finished 17 for 30 from the field, including 9 for 16 on 3s. Lillard was 5 for 13 from beyond the arc.

“I think besides Steph (Curry) and Klay Thompson, we’re the only backcourt in the league that empowers the other,” McCollum said of his partnership with Lillard. “I don’t try to take over the game from him. We work together.”

James Harden finished with 44 points and 17 assists for Houston, and Christian Wood added 31 points and 13 rebounds. Harden also had a game-ending turnover on the final possession of overtime.

Lillard’s layup pushed the Blazers ahead 125-123 with 30 seconds left in overtime, but Harden made a 3 to push the Rockets ahead with 15.3 seconds left.

Then with 6.3 seconds left, the ball found McCollum again and the Blazers’ guard hit another long range shot putting Portland ahead 128-126.

“We tried to do everything that it takes as a team to stop whoever has the hot hand,” Harden said of the Blazers'guards. “They both started off slow and then the rest of the game the caught fire.”