In the Portland Trail Blazers 95-89 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, guard C.J. McCollum has the best scoring night of his career. 

Damian Lillard wasn’t present because of an ankle injury, but McCollum scored enough points to account for both of them. The 43 he dropped was the most thus far in his NBA career, eclipsing his previous high of 37 that he tallied twice before.

Overall, C.J. was 16-of-25 from the field, 3-of-6 from three and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe in his 39 minutes of action. He added five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

McCollum manipulated the Timberwolves’ defense whenever he had the chance, utilizing Mason Plumlee‘s screens on multiple possessions and drilling a variety of pull up mid-range range jumpers.

Following his performance, McCollum is averaging is a career-best 22.9 points a night on 47.9 percent shooting, but Portland is underachieving this season and sit at just 15-21 on the year.

Miraculously, they’re only half-a-game out of the playoff picture — a testament to the competitive mediocrity of the bottom half of the Western Conference — but Terry Stotts is going to need more performances similar to this one from his rising superstar if Portland is to make some noise down the stretch.

Oh, they’ll need some defense, too.

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