CJ McCollum has been playing the best basketball of his career to start this season, averaging 26.7 points a game, taking on a larger role in the offense, intentionally taking more threes and hitting them at a career-best 44.1% clip. He was playing at an All-Star level through the opening weeks.
Now Portland will have to find wins without him for a while because McCollum suffered a sprained foot and had to leave the game against Atlanta Saturday.
The injury happened in the first quarter when CJ McCollum drove the lane, leaped for a layup, and Clint Capela inadvertently landed on his foot.
McCollum tried to play through the pain in the first half but did not return for the second half.
After the game, coach Terry Stotts said an X-Ray and MRI confirmed that it is just a sprain, reports Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest.
Still, McCollum is going to miss some time. Portland has been hit hard by the injury bug this past week, with center and defensive anchor Jusuf Nurkic out for a couple of months following surgery for a fractured wrist.
Saturday night, without McCollum or Nurkic in the second half, Portland stepped up its defense and held Atlanta to just 40 points for the half. Portland came from behind to get the win, 112-106, behind 36 points on the night from Damian Lillard — who also sacrificed his body and drew a charge to seal the win.
Portland is going to need a lot more Lillard in the coming couple of weeks.