Portland guard C.J. McCollum was in one of those scoring zones on Wednesday night, dropping 50 points on the Chicago Bulls in a 124-108 Trail Blazers win. Scoring 50 in a game is quite the accomplishment, but it is also a fairly regular one as five different players had scored 50 or more entering last night's schedule.
* Recap: Blazers 124, Bulls 108
What was notable about McCollum's performance was that he scored his 50 points in just three quarters. That feat put him on a very short list of players to do likewise over the last 10 seasons:
50-plus points through first 3 qtrs, last 10 seasons
Date | Player (Team) | Points through 3rd qtr | Total points
1/31/2018 | C.J. McCollum (Blazers) | 50 | 50
11/5/2017 | James Harden (Rockets) | 54 | 56
12/5/2016 | Klay Thompson (Warriors) | 60 | 60
1/23/2015 | Klay Thompson (Warriors) | 50 | 52
1/24/2014 | Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) | 56 | 62
4/12/2009 | Dwyane Wade (Heat) | 50 | 55
McCollum got his big night rolling with a 28-point first quarter outburst, the highest opening quarter total by an NBA player this season. Additionally, that 28-point total set a team record and, after his four-point second quarter, McCollum finished the half with the second-most first-half points in team history (32). Only teammate Damian Lillard had more, when he scored 33 of his franchise-record 59 points against the Utah Jazz last April.
McCollum is now a member of the Blazers' 50-point club, joining Clyde Drexler, Lillard, Andre Miller, Geoff Petrie, Damon Stoudamire and Brandon Roy. Additionally, his 50 points were scored in 29 minutes and 16 seconds, making him the second player in the shot clock era to score at least 50 points in a game in less than 30 minutes.
The last player to accomplish that feat was Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who dropped 60 points on Dec. 5, 2016 against the Indiana Pacers.
CJ McCollum = 50 points (29 minutes, 16 seconds) Only the second player in the NBA’s shot-clock era to score at least 50 points in a game in less than 30 minutes (Klay Thompson, 60 points, 29:03; 12/5/16) @EliasSportspic.twitter.com/uO0OYEL6ef— NBA History (@NBAHistory) February 1, 2018
“I don’t know what the right word is, but a very impressive outing by CJ,” said Blazers coach Terry Stotts said after the game. “What he did in the first quarter was amazing. It was fun to sit back and watch that.”
As the first Blazers player to score 50 points before reaching the fourth quarter, McCollum couldn't help but admire his accomplishment.
“A lot of elite players score 50 points…it shows that you’re a really unique scorer and have a lot of abilities,” McCollum said. “And to do it in three quarters is just a credit to our staff for helping develop me, hard work, teammates sharing, setting screens, sacrificing a lot of stuff.”