----- CJ McCollum will have an MRI on his left knee Sunday after going down in the third quarter of Saturday night's loss at San Antonio.
The Trail Blazers lost much more than a game Saturday night at AT&T Center in San Antonio.
CJ McCollum went down with a left leg injury at the 7:08 mark of the third quarter after Jakob Poeltl landed awkwardly on his foot. McCollum was slowly helped into the locker room by Meyers Leonard and Skal Labissiere. X-rays were negative. He is scheduled to have an MRI on his left knee Sunday in Portland.
"I went up for a left-hand layup," McCollum said. "Big fella blocked it, landed on my foot, I trapped my foot on the ground, felt my knee twist. It's in pain. I can walk, but I'm not sure what the extent of it is. There is some discomfort and some pain there."
The Blazers got off to a strong start taking a 50-48 halftime lead thanks to a 20-9 run to closeout the quarter, and extended their lead to four at 76-72 entering the final period thanks to 15 third quarter points from Damian Lillard.
San Antonio erupted for 36 points in the fourth to put the game away. The Spurs connected on 46.8% of their shots including 8-for-17 from three-point range. San Antonio was rewarded for their aggressive play by the officials connecting on 26-for-30 from the free throw line, Portland was just 12-for-14.
Lillard was frustrated with the officiating after the game saying, “The game has gotten more physical coming down the stretch toward the playoffs. You know how it is, sometimes as a competitor you see one play get called against you and then it doesn’t get called for you, it’s like it gives you that feeling that ‘I’m being cheated.’"
Lillard led Portland (42-27) with 34 points and Jusuf Nurkic recorded his 33rd double-double of the season finishing with 24 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists. Rodney Hood added 13 points off the bench.
Now the Blazers will wait for the result of McCollum's MRI. If McCollum is out for an extended period of time, who will Terry Stotts to fill his shoes? Jake Layman, Rodney Hood, Seth Curry, and Evan Turner are all capable, but they are not as dynamic as McCollum.
Bottom line, Portland needs to find someone who can knock down shots. The Blazers connected on 41.6% of their shots from the field agaomst the Spurs and just 7-for-28 from three-point range.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers return home to meet the Indiana Pacers Monday night at Moda Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 PM.
Chad's Take- Portland's season comes down to an MRI on CJ's knee scheduled for Sunday.